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Background and authority

The FEC OIG was established in April 1989 in accordance with the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.

The Inspector General (IG) is independent. While the IG is under the general supervision of the Commissioners, they cannot prohibit the IG from conducting an audit or investigation. By law, the IG is authorized to:

  • Conduct and supervise independent and objective audits and investigations relating to agency programs and operations
  • Promote economy, effectiveness and efficiency within the agency
  • Prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse in agency programs and operations
  • Review and provide recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to agency programs and operations
  • Have direct access to the Commission
  • Issue subpoenas for information and documents
  • Administer oaths for taking testimony
  • Manage an independent budget, staff and resources
  • Keep the agency head and the Congress fully and currently informed of problems in agency programs and operations

To ensure objectivity, the IG Act empowers IG’s with authority to:

  • Determine programs and/or operations for review (audit, special reviews, inspections)
  • Access all FEC records, including reports, audits, reviews, documents and recommendations
  • Publish findings and recommendations

Additionally, IG’s are required to report to the Commission particularly serious or flagrant problems, abuses or deficiencies relating to the administration of agency programs and operations.