Inspectors General:

Progress in Establishing OIGs at Designated Federal Entities

AFMD-90-46: Published: Apr 24, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Jeffrey C. Steinhoff
(202) 275-9454


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed 27 federal entities' progress in establishing offices of inspector general (OIG).

GAO found that: (1) all 27 entities complied with 1988 legislation requiring them to establish OIG by appointing inspectors general (IG) or acting IG and preparing policy documents describing OIG missions and functions; (2) most of the entities made appropriate revisions to policy documents that did not always properly reflect OIG roles and authorities; (3) IG were the only professional staff assigned to OIG at eight entities, and IG lacking OIG staff resources intended to use management or other federal agencies' staff or rely on contractors to accomplish their plans; (4) lack of permanent staff could prevent OIG from developing in-depth and comprehensive knowledge of agency programs and subsequently limit effectiveness, and reliance on management staff could detract from OIG independence and objectivity; (5) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identified the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) executive director and the Legal Services Corporation's (LSC) president as the entity heads to which IG must report, although the 1988 legislation required that OMB list the chief policymaking officer or board as entity head; and (6) both the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Federal Election Commission were able to resolve their concerns that establishing OIG would conflict with their missions by ensuring that IG focused on auditing and investigating entity activities, rather than becoming involved in program operating responsibilities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OMB identified the Board of Directors as the LSC heads and the Chairman as the PBGC head in its list published in the Federal Register on August 21, 1990.

    Recommendation: To ensure that IG at PBGC and LSC are reporting to the proper authority, OMB, in its next annual list of entity heads, should identify the board of directors or its chairman as the entity head at those entities.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget


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