Statutory Authority and Responsibility
The IG Act established OIGs in 12 federal government departments and agencies. When Congress amended the Act in 1988, statutory IG offices were established in 33 designated federal entities (DFEs), including CPB.
From the beginning, the basic purpose of the IG Act was to improve the economy and efficiency of federally funded programs and operations. In order to achieve this, the IG Act required that:
- The audit and investigative units within each agency be consolidated into one unit headed by a single high level official reporting directly to the head of the agency and the Congress;
- Protections be designed to ensure that the IGs had the independence and authority necessary to carry out their duties; and
- The IGs provide periodic reports to their agency heads and the Congress about serious problems and deficiencies in agency operations.
Under the IG Act, the OIG was given the authority and responsibility to:
- Conduct audits and investigations;
- Review and comment on relevant legislation;
- Recommend policies and procedures and conduct other activities carried out or financed by CPB to promote efficient and effective operations and minimize fraud, waste, and abuse;
- Coordinate with other federal agencies, state and local governmental agencies, non governmental entities and others, regarding the efficiency and economy of operations and preventing fraud waste, and abuse;
- Receive and investigate complaints from employees concerning possible violations of laws, rules, or regulations, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, and specific dangers to public health and safety;
To ensure that the IGs have the authority and independence to carry out their duties, the IG Act affords them a number of powers and protections. These include:
- Access to all relevant records, documents, and information at CPB, its grantees and contractors;
- Authority to subpoena documents and, if necessary, to enforce that subpoena in the appropriate federal district court;
- Discretion to perform any audits or investigations that are considered necessary in the judgment of the IG;
- Authority to administer oaths, affirmations or affidavits considered necessary to accomplish OIG audits and investigations; and
- Authority to contract for services, to select, appoint, employ, and organize, as necessary, staff to carry out purposes of the IG Act.
The CPB IG can best be described as an independent evaluator of CPB operations. The IG has no program operating responsibility and therefore no vested interest in any specific policies or activities. He is expected to provide top management and Congress with a method of ensuring adequate controls and accountability over programmatic operations and resources.