US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the Inspector General

Functional Statements > Office of the Inspector General

Sections

  1. Mission and Responsibilities
  2. Organization and Functions
    1. Immediate Office of the Inspector General
    2. Audit Services
    3. Investigation Services
    4. Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations
    5. Management Services
  3. Order of Succession
  4. Delegations of Authority

I. Mission and Responsibilities

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, establishes the Offices of Inspectors General as independent and objective units within government agencies with the mission of promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of their agencies’ programs and operations and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse. To achieve their mission, the Inspectors General are required to conduct independent audits, investigations, and other reviews and to recommend actions to address systemic weaknesses and to improve agency programs and operations. Inspectors General also recommend changes needed in relevant Federal laws and regulations. By statute, the Offices of Inspectors General are required to keep both the head of the agency and the Congress fully and currently informed about deficiencies in programs and operations and progress in correcting those deficiencies.

The Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, selected without regard to political affiliation and based solely on integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or investigations. Only the President can remove or transfer the Inspector General, and the President must inform Congress of the reasons before removing or transferring an Inspector General. This safeguard is in place to prevent an Inspector General from being removed for political reasons or simply because they are doing an effective job of identifying fraud, waste, and abuse.

To meet its mission and fulfill its responsibilities, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) performs a number of activities, including the following.

  • Conducts independent audits, investigations, inspections and other reviews of Departmental programs, operations, program participants, and funding.
  • Identifies and prevents fraud, waste, abuse, and criminal activity involving Department funds, programs, and operations.
  • Provides leadership regarding promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of Department programs and operations, including reviewing legislation and regulations relating to Departmental programs and making recommendations regarding these items’ impact on the economy and efficiency of Departmental programs, and recommending policies for other activities that promote economy and efficiency in the Department’s programs and operations.
  • Informs the Secretary and the Congress about weaknesses or issues in Department programs and operations needing corrective action and proposes corrective actions to address those problems and weaknesses.

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II. Organization and Functions

The OIG is under the direction of the Inspector General who is supported by the Deputy Inspector General. To manage and carry out its functions, the OIG utilizes a component structure based on specific areas of focus: (A) the Immediate Office of the Inspector General; (B) Audit Services; (C) Investigation Services; (D) Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations; and (E) Management Services.

OIG Organizational Chart (PDF, 29KB)

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A. Immediate Office of the Inspector General

The Immediate Office of the Inspector General is responsible for coordinating and assuring accomplishment of the overall mission of the OIG.

Key Functions

In addition to providing overall leadership and setting the direction of the OIG, the Immediate Office of the Inspector General also provides the independent legal counsel for the organization, internal management support, Congressional and public liaison, and oversight of external summary reporting of activities, such as the OIG Semiannual Report to Congress, Annual Plan, and the annual Management Challenges report.

Management

The Immediate Office of the Inspector General is composed of the Inspector General, the Deputy Inspector General, their executive staff, and three direct-report units: Office of Counsel, Quality and Integrity Group, and Congressional, Public Affairs, and Communications Services.

Immediate Office of the Inspector General Offices and Groups

Office of Counsel

The OIG Office of Counsel is responsible for OIG’s legal, Freedom of Information Act, and ethics functions. OIG attorneys provide legal advice and assistance to the Inspector General and OIG staff on a full range of subjects, including Federal education law; administrative, criminal, and civil procedure; and the civil False Claims Act. OIG attorneys represent OIG in administrative litigation before the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Quality and Integrity Group

The Quality and Integrity Group is responsible for conducting internal investigations of OIG personnel and for internal quality control reviews and vulnerability assessments of audit, investigative, inspection, and administrative activities. The Group may perform special investigations, reviews, audits, and inspections of a sensitive or complex nature and special projects not within the purview of other OIG entities.

Congressional, Public Affairs, and Communications Services Group

The Congressional, Public Affairs, and Communications Services group, referred to as Communications Services, coordinates communications between the OIG and Congress, the media, and the general public. Communications Services produces statutory reports such as the Semiannual Report to Congress, content on the OIG public-facing website, the OIG’s podcasts, and other audio-visual content. Communication Services also provides editing services, graphic design, template maintenance, and oversight of publications policies and procedures for the OIG.

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B. Audit Services (EFA)

Audit Services is responsible for all audit, inspection, and other activities to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the Department’s programs and operations. Audit Services also recommends changes to existing and proposed legislation and regulations to clarify requirements, improve program performance and operations, and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in its programs and operations.

Key Functions

  • Formulates, recommends, and executes audit and related policies consistent with the overall policy guidance of the Inspector General, and assures that all audits and related reviews of Departmental operations, programs, activities, and functions are conducted in accordance with applicable professional standards, such as those established by the Comptroller General of the United States and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).
  • Conducts audits and other reviews of internal Department operations and programs, including statutory work, as well as of external entities that receive Departmental funding. Audit Services issues reports of its findings and recommendations for corrective action to address any deficiencies or other issues identified.
  • Conducts strategic planning, including development and execution of statutory and other annual reports.
  • Conducts audit resolution activities, as well as policy and quality assurance activities.
  • Works with other OIG components, including Investigation Services to ensure that matters it identifies as needing investigative attention are promptly coordinated.

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Management

  • Audit Services’ function is performed under the direction of the Assistant Inspector General for Audit and the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit. The Assistant Inspector General for Audit and Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit are responsible for audit-related budget development and execution.
  • Audit Services staff are located in OIG’s headquarters as well as in regional offices. Regional offices may have field offices and duty stations reporting to it. Regional offices are led by a Regional Inspector General for Audit (RIGAs) who is supported by Assistant Regional Inspectors General for Audit. The RIGAs report to the Assistant Inspector General for Audit through the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit
  • Audit Services Regional offices, field offices, and duty stations can be found via this link: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/oigaddresses.html#audit

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Audit Services Teams

To help facilitate its wide-range of work, conduct its significant statutory work, and provide subject matter expertise in critical areas, Audit Services employs four specific teams (1) Advisory and Assistance Teams; (2) Non Federal Audit Team; (3) Financial Statement Audit Team; and (4) Strategic Planning, Administration, and Resolution Team. Each of these teams is led by a Director that reports to the Assistant Inspector General for Audit through the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit.

Advisory and Assistance Teams

Audit Services employs two Advisory and Assistance Teams: Student Financial Assistance Programs Team and State and Local Programs Advisory and Assistance Team. These teams provide the means for OIG to build and maintain additional program or technical expertise and enhance its availability to provide such expertise to its work teams in headquarters and regional offices when planning and executing their assignments.

Non Federal Audits Team

The team is responsible for the statutory guidance, training, and technical assistance of OIG and non-Federal auditors. It is also responsible for exercising oversight of non-Federal audits and liaison with the Department, and participation in an advisory capacity on Departmental teams as appropriate.

Financial Statement Audit Team

The Financial Statement Internal Audit Team provides oversight of the annual statutory audits of internal Departmental financial programs and activities. The team is responsible for liaison with the Department and participation in an advisory capacity on Departmental teams as appropriate.

Strategic Planning, Administration, and Resolution Team (SPAR)

SPAR performs a wide range services that include developing and updating policies and procedures and conducting continuous monitoring activities related to audit activities, and monitoring results under Audit Services’ performance metrics, and conducting special studies and analysis.

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C. Investigation Services (EFI)

Investigation Services is responsible for all investigative activities relating to the Department's programs, operations, and funding, and prevention and detection of fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving these programs, operations, and funds. Investigation Services also conducts, supervises, and coordinates investigations of suspected criminal activity or serious misconduct by Departmental employees. Investigation Services maintains the OIG Hotline, available 24-7 via the internet and staffed by professional live-voice operators during the week, and accompanying system for the receipt, screening, and disposition of allegations and complaints involving violations of law, rules and regulations, mismanagement, or suspected fraud and waste in the utilization of Departmental funds.

Key Functions

  • Conducts investigations into fraud, abuse, and other criminal and civil violations of law involving Department program participants, grantees, subgrantees, and Department employees, contractors, and subcontractors.
  • Operates the OIG Hotline, which provides an opportunity for the public to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Department programs, funding, or operations.
  • Coordinates with the U.S. Department of Justice as well as State and local prosecutive entities.
  • Provides outreach to the public on how to identify and report fraud.
  • Recommends corrective actions/fixes to address Department programs vulnerable to fraud.
  • Develops policies, criteria, and procedures for investigations in conformance with Federal laws, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, court decisions, legal opinions, and advice from the Department of Justice.
  • Conducts special projects and analyses.

Management

  • Investigation Services’ function is performed under the management of the headquarters and Regional offices which report to the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations through the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations. The Assistant Inspector General for Investigations and Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations are responsible for investigations-related budget development and execution.
  • Investigation Services Regional Offices, each of which has field offices and duty stations reporting to it, are in Long Beach (CA), Chicago (IL), Philadelphia (PA), and Dallas (TX). OIG Regional and field office locations can be found here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/oigaddresses.html

Federal Law Enforcement Authority

OIG criminal investigators operate with full law enforcement authority. This allows them to not only carry firearms, but to execute arrest and search warrants, and take sworn statements.

OIG criminal investigators employ the full spectrum of traditional law enforcement techniques, such as conducting surveillance and undercover operations..

OIG criminal investigators work side-by-side with their colleagues in other law enforcement agencies, as well as with Federal, State, and local prosecutors.

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D. Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations (EFT)

The Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations (ITACCI) component combines audit, investigative, digital evidence and analytical expertise to address IT management and security issues, investigate cyber-related crimes, and conduct digital forensic services and proactive data analysis.

The team produces IT audit reports, security reviews, and other products to assist the Department in identifying risks and offering recommendations to improve management of its systems. The team conducts investigations of criminal IT activity, such as network intrusions, identity theft, fraud, and virtually every other type of criminal activity associated with computers. The team also leverages the use of technology to generate products and services that advance and enhance the OIG mission.

Key Functions

  • Conducts annual Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) reviews and produces IT security reports to help the Department identify and mitigate risks for its critical business systems.
  • Investigates network intrusions and other technology crimes impacting the Department’s programs, operations, and IT systems.
  • Provides expert data analysis in support of ongoing investigations and audits, develops risk models, and coordinates data mining efforts.
  • Employs the latest technology and techniques to discover and defeat current and emerging threats from cyber and economic crime and operates a full-time, state-of-the art computer laboratory where we conduct and coordinate forensic analysis.
  • Provides IT oversight and operational support to OIG staff, including designing, installing, testing, implementing and maintaining critical OIG databases and systems, and coordinates the purchase of OIG IT hardware, software and related items.

Management

ITACCI’s function is performed under the direction of the Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI and the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI. The Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI and Deputy Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI are responsible for ITACCI-related budget development and execution.

ITACCI’s function is performed under the direction of the Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI and the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI. The Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI and Deputy Assistant Inspector General for ITACCI are responsible for ITACCI-related budget development and execution.

ITACCI Teams

Information Technology Audits Division (ITAD)

ITAD conducts independent audits of the Department’s IT systems and processes including the effectiveness of information security controls. Additionally, the staff focuses on identifying evolving threats and vulnerabilities, Privacy Act compliance, and the adequacy and effectiveness of information security policies, procedures, and practices to support FISMA reporting. OIG relies on ITAD to conduct its ongoing IT audits. Through its audits, the ITAD staff's efforts provide analyses of the Department's and FSA's processes and controls for IT strategic planning, systems development lifecycle, and system security general and application controls.

Technology Crimes Division (TCD)

TCD is responsible for investigating information technology-based crimes and criminal activity against and within the Department, or information technology- based criminal activity that threatens the Department’s administration of Federal education assistance funds. TCD also performs forensic analysis of digital evidence in support of all OIG components. The TCD team is a mix of technically trained Computer Crime Special Agents and Digital Forensics Computer Specialists. TCD Computer Crime Special Agents have full statutory law enforcement authority as granted by Congress.

Technology and Analytic Services Division (TAS)

The TAS division provides expert data analysis and retrieval capability using sophisticated techniques in support of ongoing investigations and audits.

Technology Support Operations Division (TSO)

This team provides IT oversight and operational support to OIG staff, including designing, installing, testing, implementing and maintaining critical OIG databases and systems, and coordinates the purchase of OIG IT hardware, software and related items.

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E. Management Services

Management Services provides administrative and management support to the Inspector General and all OIG components.

Key Functions

  • Formulates, executes, and oversees the OIG budget.
  • Develops and maintains administrative and management policy and procedures.
  • Performs human resource support activities.
  • Coordinates facility and property management.

Management Services’ function is performed under the direction of the Assistant Inspector General for Management Services and the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Management Services.

Housed within Management Services is the OIG Executive Officer whose duties involve such issues as records management policies and implementation, OIG business continuity plans, OIG emergency contact system, and ensuring coordination between Department and OIG policies.

To carry out its activities, Management Services employs two teams: Office of Administrative Operations and the Office of Human Resources. Each of the teams is led by a Director who reports to the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Management Services.

i. Office of Administrative Operations

Administrative Operations has oversight of budget and procurement services and administrative operations.

Budget and Procurement Services

This team manages the OIG’s budget and procurement services, including formulating, executing, and monitoring the OIG budget, performing analyses to assist in allocation and managing funding and staff resources, and overseeing monthly and annual reconciliation of OIG budget allocations, procurement and expenditures.

Operations

This team coordinates all facilities and assets management for the OIG, including acquisition, planning, design, assignment, utilization, and lease of office space, and maintains stewardship, utilization, control, and disposal of OIG accountable property. This team also maintains the OIG’s policies and works with the OIG Executive Officer on records management.

ii. Office of Human Resources

This team manages the OIG’s human capital and training requirements and needs, including all hiring and recruitment activities, initiating security clearances for OIG staff and for OIG contractors; and developing and sponsoring OIG-wide leadership development programs.

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III. Order of Succession

A. Vacancy in Office of the Inspector General

In the event that the Inspector General dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, as defined by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Act)(5 U.S.C. §§3345-3349d), and the President has not designated in writing another individual to act as the Inspector General, the Deputy Inspector General, as the designated first assistant under the Vacancies Act, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity.

B. Vacancy in Offices of the Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General

If both the offices of the Inspector General and the Deputy Inspector General are vacant, as defined by the Vacancies Act, the individuals listed below the Deputy Inspector General, in the order shown, are authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Inspector General in an acting capacity. The designated official temporarily performing the functions and duties of the office of the Inspector General shall exercise the full authority and power prescribed to the IG by law, as well as those authorities that have been delegated to the Deputy Inspector General by the Inspector General. The designated official shall also perform the duties and exercise the authorities that have been delegated to the Inspector General by the Secretary, unless the Secretary has ordered otherwise. While the designated official is temporarily performing the functions and duties of the Inspector General, he/she shall continue to perform the duties and exercise the authorities and powers of his/her official position. If required, these original duties, authorities, and powers may be further delegated.

C. Vacancy in Office of the Inspector General and No Acting Official

If the time period during which the Deputy Inspector General may, under the Vacancies Act, serve in an acting capacity expires, the Deputy Inspector General or anyone acting for the Deputy Inspector General, is authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Inspector General that are delegable. If the time period during which the Deputy Inspector General may serve in an acting capacity has expired and the Deputy Inspector General position becomes vacant, then the individuals listed below the Deputy Inspector General, in the order shown, shall perform the functions and duties of the office of the Deputy Inspector General.

D. Temporary Absence

In instances where the office of the Inspector General is filled, but the Inspector General is absent, unavailable, otherwise temporarily unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and there is no person officially serving in an acting capacity, and unless the Inspector General designates another individual to perform the functions and duties of the Inspector General, the following officials, in the order shown, are delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Inspector General that are delegable:

  1. Deputy Inspector General
  2. Assistant Inspector General for Audit
  3. Assistant Inspector General for Investigations
  4. Assistant Inspector General for Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations
  5. Counsel to the Inspector General
  6. Assistant Inspector General for Management Services
  7. Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit
  8. Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations
  9. Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Information Technology, Audits and Computer Crime Investigations
  10. Special Agent in Charge Southern Region
  11. Regional Inspector General for Audit–Atlanta Field Office

For a planned period of absence, each individual will designate an appropriate official to act in his/her position.

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IV. Delegations of Authority

OIG Delegations of Authority may be found at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/or/delegations/oig.html

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Last Modified: 03/22/2021