One example is from the Securities and Exchange Commission OIG.In a 2011 article by Matt Taibbi, SEC whistleblowers said that complaining to the SEC OIG was "well-known to be a career-killer." Another example is from whistleblower Jesselyn Radack's book Canary in the Coalmine, in which she describes her experience complaining to the Department of Justice OIG; instead of helping her, the IG office helped the DOJ get her fired and restricted from practicing as a lawyer.
However, in both cases Congress must be notified of the termination, removal, or reassignment.
While the IG Act of 1978 requires that inspectors general be selected based upon their qualifications and not political affiliation, presidentially appointed inspectors general are considered political appointees and are often selected, if only in part and in addition to their qualifications, because of their political relationships and party affiliation.
An example of the role political affiliation plays in the selection of an inspector general, and the resulting pitfalls, can be seen in the 2001 Republican appointment (and resignation under fire) of Janet Rehnquist While all of the federal offices of inspector generals operate separately from one another, they share information and some coordination through the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). In addition to their inspector general members, CIGIE includes non-inspector general representatives from the federal executive branch, such as executives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Government Ethics, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Prior to this time, most presidentially appointed IG and some designated IG special agents had the equivalent law enforcement authorities as a result of other statutes or annually required deputation by the U. Some designated IG special agents, however, still have full law enforcement authority today by virtue of this continued deputation.
Some OIGs employ no criminal investigators and rely solely on administrative investigators, auditors, and inspectors.
To a certain degree they are ombudsmen for their branch of service.
However, their primary function is to ensure the combat readiness of subordinate units in their command.
CIGIE also provides specialized training to the inspector general community.
Further evidence of coordination between federal offices of inspector generals can be seen by the public through the offices' shared website, which are hosted by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
Such offices are attached to many federal executive departments, independent federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. G.) and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, embezzlement and mismanagement of any kind within the executive department.
The offices employ special agents (criminal investigators, often armed) and auditors.
Evidence of the offices' return on investment to taxpayers can be seen through their semi-annual reports to Congress, most of which are available on each office's website.