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Under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, each of the Presidentially-appointed, Senate confirmed Inspectors General (IGs) has the right to obtain his or her own independent legal counsel in order to preserve the IG’s independence and avoid possible conflicts of interest in conducting IG audits and investigations.
To that end, the Office of Legal Affairs advises the IG on all legal and regulatory matters related to both specific functions of a Federal Inspector General and general personnel, administrative, and policy issues related with the operation of a Federal agency.
In addition, we provide legal guidance and support to the other offices within the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), including support on criminal procedure, audit guidelines, procurement, and guidance on the functions of and programs administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). We work with OPM’s Office of General Counsel on various matters and coordinate with the Department of Justice on both criminal and civil matters.
The Office of Legal Affairs also actively interacts with Congress on behalf of the OIG. In addition to the requirement that Federal Inspectors General submit Semiannual Reports to Congress, they also have a responsibility to recommend policies that would reduce fraud, waste, and abuse and to inform both the agency head and Congress of serious problems or abuses within the agency’s programs. The Office of Legal Affairs assists the OIG in performing these duties by working with Congress and OPM to promote legislative proposals that will further our office’s efforts to combat fraud, waste, and abuse.