In the United States, an Inspector General (IG) is a type of investigator 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 general 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 exist numerous Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) at the federal, state, and local levels.


Federal Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs)

Federally, there exist 69 OIGs, a significant increase since the statutory creation of the initial 12 OIGs by the Act of 1978. Offices of the IG differ among the various federal agencies and Armed Forces. Each employ some combination of IG expertise which may include special agents (criminal investigators, often armed), auditors, forensic auditors, evaluators, inspectors, administrative investigators, and assistance experts. Their activities include the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of the government programs and operations within their parent organizations. OIG Investigations may be internal, targeting government employees, or external, targeting grant recipients, contractors, or recipients of the various loans and subsidies offered through the thousands of federal domestic and foreign assistance programs.

U.S. Military

Within the United States Armed Forces, the position of Inspector General is normally part of the personal staff serving a general or flag officer in a command or agency director position. The Inspector General's office functions in two ways. To a certain degree they are ombudsmen for their branch of service and/or organization. However, their primary function is to insure the combat readiness of subordinate units in their command/organization. An armed services inspector general may also investigate noncriminal allegations, to include determining if the matter should be referred for criminal investigation by the service's criminal investigative agency The Inspector General is usually a senior civilian employee or field grade officer assisted by experienced company grade and warrant officers, senior noncommissioned officers and experienced civilian employees.

The DMA OIG is staffed with inspectors, evaluators, administrative investigators, and assistance experts.