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Authorities Under Which the OIG Carries out its Work

Major Statutes

United States Code Granting Criminal and Civil Investigative Authority

Audit Standards

Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (P.L. 95-452)
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The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, establishes the responsibilities and duties of an IG. The IG Act was amended throughout the 1980s to increase the number of agencies with statutory IGs, culminating in 1988 with the establishment of IGs in smaller, independent agencies. There are now 57 statutory IGs. In brief, the IG Act of 1978, as amended, grants the OIG the administrative authority to:

  • Receive full access to all records and materials available to the Agency;
  • Determine which audits, investigations, inspections, and reviews are necessary and issue appropriate reports;
  • Issue subpoenas for non-Federal records;
  • Report directly to the head of the Agency;
  • Receive employee and other complaints, protect sources, and when necessary, refer matters to the United States Attorney General;
  • Hire employees, experts, and consultants and procure necessary equipment and services; and
  • Obtain assistance from other agencies, including Federal, State, and local governments.

Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-255)
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This act requires ongoing evaluations and reports of the adequacy of the systems of internal accounting and administrative control of each executive agency.

Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-576)
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Congress mandated financial management reform by enacting the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act, which was signed into law November 15, 1990. The act establishes a leadership structure, provides for long-range planning, requires audited financial statements, and strengthens accountability reporting. The CFO Act requires that the financial statements be audited, and these audits are the responsibility of the Inspectors General. Reports of audits conducted under the CFO Act must be completed by June 30 of the year following the close of the fiscal year for which the financial statements were prepared.

OMB developed an initiative to accelerate the agency financial statements reporting date to November 15 for fiscal year 2004. For fiscal year 2003, OMB required the CFO Act agencies to deliver their Performance and Accountability Reports, including their audited financial statements, to OMB by January 30, 2004. To prepare for meeting the required November 15 accelerated reporting date for fiscal year 2004, OMB encouraged the CFO Act agencies to accelerate the issuance of their fiscal year 2003 audited financial statements to November 15, 2003, or as close to that date as possible. OMB reported that 8 CFO Act agencies were able to issue their fiscal year 2003 financial statements with unqualified opinions by mid-November 2003, another 10 CFO Act agencies issued their financial statements by December 31, 2003, and the remaining 5 CFO Act agencies issued by the end of January 2004.

Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-356)
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The Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (GMRA) calls for agency financial statements that reflect the results of agency operations and, beginning with FY 1997, a government-wide financial statement that includes results of government-wide operations. The purposes of GMRA are to provide a more effective, efficient, and responsive government through a series of management reforms primarily for Federal human resources and financial management. The Act requires that all major Federal departments and agencies prepare a financial statement covering all accounts and associated activities of each office, bureau, and activity of the agency. The statement should conform to OMB guidance, and it should be audited by the agency Inspector General. The statement should reflect: the overall financial position of the offices, bureaus, and activities covered by the statement, including assets and liabilities thereof; and results of operations of those offices, bureaus, and activities.

Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-208)
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The Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA) of 1996 requires, among other things, that agencies implement and maintain management systems that substantially comply with Federal financial management systems requirements. These requirements are detailed in the Financial Management Systems Requirements series issued by the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) and in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance (Circular A-127 and September 9, 1997 implementation guidance).

OMB's 1997 implementation guidance provides indicators for Chief Financial Officers and Inspectors General to assist them in determining whether agency's financial management systems substantially comply with Federal financial management systems requirements. The annual assurance statement required pursuant to section 4 of the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act is one of those indicators.

Inspectors General contribute to the achievement of the agency's objectives and play an important role in helping management evaluate the effectiveness of control structures.

Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-531)
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The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 authorizes and encourages the consolidation of financial and performance management reports to Congress and The President. Its purpose is to improve the quality of agency performance and enhance the coordination and efficiency on the part of the agencies in reporting their results. The Office of Inspector General prepares statements that summarize what the OIG considers to be the most serious management and performance challenges facing the agency and briefly assesses the agency's progress in addressing those challenges. In accordance with the law, the OIG provides such statement to the agency head at least 30 days before the due date of the report and the agency head may comment on the IG’s statement, but may not modify the statement.

Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-347)
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FISMA directs Federal agencies to conduct annual IT security reviews and Inspectors General (IGs) to perform annual independent evaluations of agency programs and systems and report their results to OMB and Congress. To ensure consistent reporting across the government, OMB issued FISMA guidance, M-03-19, “Reporting Instructions for the Federal Information Security Management Act and Updated Guidance on Quarterly IT Security Reporting”, which included specific reporting instructions along with quantitative performance measures to more effectively determine agency status and progress. This guidance also continued the requirement for agencies to develop and manage a central plan of action and milestone (POA&M) process to prioritize and track IT security remediation efforts.

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-277)
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The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003 amends the Federal criminal code to authorize qualified law enforcement officers (including certain qualified retired officers) carrying the photographic identification issued by their governmental agency, notwithstanding State or local laws, to carry a concealed firearm. Provides that such authorization shall not supersede State laws that: (1) permit private entities to prohibit the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or (2) prohibit the possession of firearms on State or local government property. Excludes from the definition of "firearm" any machine gun, firearm silencer, or destructive device.



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