Inspector general

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This article is about the administrative office. For the Russian play by Nikolai Gogol, see The Government Inspector. For the Danny Kaye film, see The Inspector General (film).

An inspector general is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is "inspectors general".


The chief of police of Bangladesh is known as the inspector general of police. He is from the Bangladesh Civil Service police cadre. The current inspector general of police is A K M Shahidul Hoque, and his predecessor was Hassan Mahmud Khondokar. There is another temporary post of inspector general of police, known as Pulish Shômônnoyôk (Bengali: পুলিশ সমন্বয়ক্) or "police coordinator", currently held by Bivuti Vooshon Choudhury.


Before 1867 the position of Inspector General of Canada existed as the minister responsible for finances and government spending in the Province of Canada. After 1867 the position was assumed as the Minister of Finance. Alexander Galt served at the last Inspector General from 1858 to 1867 and the first Minister of Finance in 1867.


Colombia's inspector general is a unique post with broad powers to investigate government malfeasance and to bar public officials from running for office.[1]


Shoulder insignia of a police inspecteur général (France)

In the French Civil Service, an inspector general (inspecteur général) is a member of a body of civil servants known as inspection générale, generally of a high level, charged with a nationwide mission to inspect some specific services and provide government officials with advice regarding that service. For example:

The inspection générale des Finances is particularly prestigious as a job appointment after studies at the École Nationale d'Administration. In recent decades, many of its members have occupied various high positions in lieu of their traditional mission of inspection. The corps has come under increased criticism for this.


During World War II, Colonel General Heinz Guderian was appointed inspector general of armoured troops on 1 March 1943, reporting directly to Adolf Hitler.

Since the reestablishment of the German armed forces after World War II, the inspector general of the federal armed forces (Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr) is the highest-ranking soldier, responsible for the overall military planning and the principal military advisor to the federal minister of defense and the federal government. Head of the Command Staff of the Armed Forces (Führungsstab der Streitkräfte), his position is broadly equivalent to that of the American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[citation needed]

In the German federal police (Bundespolizei), the highest-ranking police officer is called inspector of the federal police as well, although this position is a more coordinating than commanding one. For all state alert police services there also exists an inspector (Inspekteur der Bereitschaftspolizeien der Länder). All of the sixteen German state police departements has an inspector, as the highest-ranking police officer. The state police presidents are normally not police officers, they are administration officials. The competence for police services in Germany is assigned to the federal states of Germany. The federal police is a coordinating police département with only a few competences, e.g. in border control or airport and trial security.

In the scope of responsibility of the state police departments the federal police can only act with permission or request of the local state police.


Insignia of an Indian Police Service officer with rank of inspector general of police

During the British rule in India, in 1861, the British Government introduced the Indian Councils Act of 1861.[2] The act created a new cadre of police, called Superior Police Services, later known as the Indian Imperial Police.[2] The highest rank in the service was the Inspector General.[2]

Currently. in modern India, the inspector general of police or joint commissioner of police is a two-star rank officer and one of the most senior officers in the state police forces. All inspectors general and joint commissioners in state police forces are Indian Police Service officers. They are in some states the commissioner of police for the city, that is they head a police force for a particular city. Inspectors general in Central Armed Police Forces (BSF, CISF, CRPF, SSB, ITBP) are either Indian Police Service (IPS) officers or directly appointed gazetted officers (DAGOs), who are directly appointed Assistant Commandants (through UPSC entrance test from the year 2005 onwards). The rank insignia of an inspector general of police or joint commissioner of police is one star above a crossed sword and baton.

The Indian Coast Guard also has the rank of inspector general. The coast guard regions are commanded by officers of the rank of inspector general.


The army's inspector general (generalinspektøren for hæren—GIH) is the immediate superior of the commanding officer of special forces FSK.[3]


In Pakistan, the inspector general of police or provincial police officer or inspector general of prisons is a three-star rank who heads the police force or all prisons in a province The inspector general of police is usually a Police Service of Pakistan officer appointed by the federal government with consent of the provincial chief minister. The inspector general of prisons is a provincial service officer selected and appointed from the Additional inspectors general of prisons of the respective province. The rank insignia of an inspector general of police or inspector general of prisons is the national emblem or one pip containing the national emblem above a crossed sword and baton worn on both shoulder flashes.


The office of General Inspector of the Armed Forces existed in the Second Polish Republic and was held by, among others, Józef Piłsudski.


In Romania, inspector general is the title given to the head of the Romanian Police, Romanian Border Police, Romanian Gendarmerie and the Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (whose central commands are called "general inspectorates").

United Kingdom[edit]


In the British tradition, an inspector general is usually a senior military officer responsible for the inspection of military units to ensure that they meet appropriate standards of training and efficiency. Unlike American inspectors general, they do not usually have an investigative or law enforcement function.

For many years the Royal Air Force maintained a post of inspector general.


The commanding officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary (and later of the Royal Ulster Constabulary until replaced by chief constable) and many Commonwealth police forces also bore the title of inspector general of police and it is still used in India and some other former British territories.

The inspector general is also the name given to the chief executive officer of the Insolvency Service.

Inspector and variants of it are rank titles of officers in the police of Britain and most Commonwealth countries.

United States[edit]

General IG emblem

In the United States, an inspector general leads an organization charged with examining the actions of a government agency, military organization, or military contractor as a general auditor of their operations to ensure they are operating in compliance with generally established policies of the government, to audit the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency's operation, usually involving some misuse of the organization's funds or credit. In the United States, there are numerous offices of inspector general at the federal, state, and local levels.

Vatican City[edit]

In the Vatican City State, the inspector general is the commanding officer of the state police force, the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City. He is also the chief bodyguard for the pope, and accompanies the pontiff when he visits foreign countries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Bumptious Functionary". The Economist. 14 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Shahidullah, Shahid M. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2012. ISBN 9781449604257. 
  3. ^ Glossary of Endgame by Knut Braa,p.270 "FSK er direkte underlagt GIH - generalinspektøren for Hæren - og med det tillagt stor nærhet til strategisk nivå og stor operativ makt.",ISBN 978-82-8143-198-0

External links[edit]