Inspector general

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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


The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (Australia) (IGIS) is an independent statutory office holder who reviews the activities of the six Australian intelligence agencies under IGIS jurisdiction. [1]

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force conducts internal reviews of administrative action, investigates Service Police professional standards breaches and other significant incidents including Service deaths, and reviews and audits the operation of the military justice system independently of the chain of command. The Inspector-General Australian Defence Force is appointed by the Minister for Defence. [2]


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 Dr. Benazir Ahmed, and his predecessor was Dr. Javed Patwary. 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 as 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.[3]


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. Most ministries have their own inspectorates general, including for instance:

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.

Within the uniformed services, "inspector general" can refer to both a rank (especially within the police) and a job title within an inspectorate general, the best known of which are:

  • Within the Inspection générale des Armées (Inspectorate General for the Armed Forces):
    • the Inspector General of the Gendarmerie (Inspecteur général de la gendarmerie nationale);
    • the Inspector General of the Army (Inspecteur général de l'Armée de Terre);
    • the Inspector General of the Navy (Inspecteur général de la Marine);
    • the Inspector General of the Air Force (Inspecteur général de l'Armée de l'air et de l'espace);
    • the Inspector General of Armament (Inspecteur général de la Direction générale de l'armement);
    • the Inspector General of the Health Service (Inspecteur général du Service de santé des Armées)

Despite often similar names and an apparently similar structure, different inspectorates general often have significantly differing roles.


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 German armed forces after World War II, the inspector general of the federal armed forces (Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr) has been the highest-ranking soldier (four star or full general in rank), responsible for the overall military planning and the principal military advisor to the federal minister of defense and the federal government. As professional head of the Armed Forces, his position is broadly equivalent (albeit slightly more powerful) to that of the American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[citation needed]

In the system of German police forces (Bundespolizei, Landespolizei, and the German Parliament Police), the highest-ranking riot police officer is called inspector of the federal police (Inspekteur der Bereitschaftspolizeien der Länder), although this position is a more coordinating than commanding one. All of the sixteen German state police forces have an inspector, usually as the highest-ranking uniformed police officer. The state police commanders-in-chief (Landespolizeipräsidenten') are very often not genuine police officers but recruited from administrative personnel. The competence for police services in Germany is in general assigned to the federal states of Germany. The federal police is a coordinating police department with a number of narrowly defined competences, e.g. in border control, airport and trial security as well as protection of German embassies abroad.

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 1861.[4] The act created a new cadre of police, called Superior Police Services, later known as the Indian Imperial Police.[4] The highest rank in the service was the Inspector General.[4]

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.[5]


In Pakistan, the inspector general of police or provincial police officer is a three-star rank who heads the police force of a province. The inspector general of police (IGP) is a Police Service of Pakistan officer, appointed by the federal government with consent of the provincial chief minister. The rank insignia of an inspector general of police 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").

Russia/Soviet Union[edit]

The Office of Inspectors General of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation was established in 2008, and consists of around thirty retired senior officers. The main task of the office is "to promote the organization of combat and operational training of troops, the construction and further development of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the development of the theory and history of military art, and the education of personnel."[6] It is the successor to the Soviet Armed Forces's Group of Inspectors General, which was dissolved in 1992.[6]


In the Swedish Armed Forces the inspector general (generalinspektör or truppslagsinspektör) was the highest official for a military branch or combat arm. The first arm to have an inspector general was the artillery where the Master-General of the Ordnance had this function since 1634. Inspector general of the cavalry and inspector general of the service troops was founded in the 19th century. The infantry did not get an inspector general until 1914. The engineer troops and signal troops followed in 1937 and a surgeon general in 1941. In 1941 the commander of the coastal artillery was also renamed inspector general of the coastal artillery.

In 1998 the previous inspectors general were abolished and the commanders of the major branches (army, air force and navy) was renamed "inspector general", renamed again to "branch inspector" in 2003 to resume the title commander in 2014.


In Turkey the office of an Inspector General was created in 1927[7] and disestablished in 1952.[8] He ruled with martial law[8] and over all military, juridical and civilian matters.[7]

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]

logo for the Council of the Inspectors General

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;[9] the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Army is a military example. In this context the adjective "general" following the noun meaning widespread or overall, not military rank.

The framework of offices of inspector general within the United States government was established with the Inspector General Act of 1978.[10]

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 Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security". Archived from the original on 1999-11-03.
  2. ^ "Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force". 25 May 2017.
  3. ^ "The Bumptious Functionary". The Economist. 14 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Shahidullah, Shahid M. (2012). Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2012. ISBN 9781449604257.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ a b Misyura, Vyacheslav (12 February 2018). "Управлению генеральных инспекторов Минобороны России — 60 лет!" (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b Bayir, Derya (2016-04-22). Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-317-09579-8.
  8. ^ a b Jongerden, Joost (2007-01-01). The Settlement Issue in Turkey and the Kurds: An Analysis of Spatical Policies, Modernity and War. BRILL. p. 53. ISBN 978-90-04-15557-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  9. ^ Hilliard, Nadia (2017). The Accountability State: US Federal Inspectors General and the Pursuit of Democratic Integrity. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700623983.[page needed] Excerpt.
  10. ^ Schudson, Michael (December 16, 2017). ""Book Review: The Accountability State: US Federal Inspectors General and the Pursuit of Democratic Integrity". The International Journal of Press/Politics. doi:10.1177/1940161217744468. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

External links[edit]