FAQs

ICIG FAQs

FAQs

How was the position of the Inspector General of the IC created?

The Intelligence Authorization Act of 2010 created the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) with the statutory authority and independence of other Senate-confirmed Inspectors General to conduct IC-wide audits, investigations, inspections, and evaluations. The ICIG is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Who is the Inspector General of the IC?

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Mr. Michael Atkinson as the second Intelligence Community Inspector General on May 17, 2018.

What is the role of the Inspector General of the IC?

The ICIG conducts independent and objective audits, investigations, inspections, and reviews to promote economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and integration across the IC.

The statutory ICIG Forum was established by the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2010. The Intelligence Community Inspector General chairs the Forum, which is composed of IC Inspectors General with oversight responsibilities for IC elements. The ICIG Assistant Inspectors General chair the Forum subcommittees. Forum members collaborate on IC-wide projects; share information and best practices; resolve jurisdictional issues; and facilitate access to employees, contractors, and other materials that may be of assistance to Forum members. The IG uses the Forum to understand and prioritize IC-wide projects, to seek key IG stakeholder buy-in on projects, and to develop strategies on how to best leverage limited IG resources across the community.

Why have an Inspector General of the IC?

Much like the relationship between other Inspectors General and their respective Agency directors, the ICIG supports the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in ensuring that the programs and activities under the DNI’s control are executed in an efficient and effective manner; conducted in accordance with the Constitution, federal laws, and pertinent regulations; and are free from fraud, waste, or abuse. To ensure proper oversight of these programs and activities, the ICIG’s authorities must mirror the authorities of the DNI, which are unique in that the DNI is responsible for the intelligence activities of the 17 organizations (including the ODNI) that comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Does the ICIG report to the DNI?

While the ICIG operates under the direct supervision and direction of the DNI, the ICIG has dual reporting responsibilities in that some IG matters must also be reported to the Congress. To ensure the independence, objectivity, and integrity of the ICIG Office, only the President can remove the ICIG from office, with prior notification to Congress.

Does the ICIG have to report to Congress?

The ICIG has notification and reporting obligations to the intelligence oversight committees, and must report particularly serious or flagrant problems, abuses, or deficiencies relating to IC programs to both the DNI and to Congress immediately. In addition, the ICIG reports to Congress on a semiannual basis on the activities of the ICIG.

Does the ICIG have authority to conduct investigations, audits, inspections, and reviews of other IC organizations?

Per IAA-2010, the ICIG may, with reasonable notice to the head of any IC element and in coordination with that IC element’s Inspector General, conduct investigations, audits, inspections, or reviews of the element and its activities.

If the ICIG has authority to conduct investigations, audits, inspections, and reviews of other IC organizations, how will the IC Inspectors General conduct investigations, audits, inspections, and reviews within their own agencies?

Some audits, inspections, investigations, or reviews will have overlapping jurisdiction between the ICIG and one or more IC agency Inspectors General. In such cases, the jurisdictional issue will be resolved among the Inspectors General involved through the Intelligence Community Inspectors General Forum (ICIG Forum), which comprises all statutory or administrative Inspectors General with oversight responsibility for an element of the IC. The ICIG Forum was established by the IAA-2010 and creates a mechanism for all ICIG Forum members to share best practices, promote efficiencies in IG efforts, and resolve jurisdictional issues.

If an IC employee or contractor wants to report an urgent concern to Congress, can the ICIG assist?

Yes. Per the IAA-2010, the ICIG is authorized to receive urgent concerns from IC employees and contractors who wish to report such matters to Congress. The ICIG will advise the IC employee or contractor on how to proceed with reporting urgent concerns to Congress in accordance with DNI guidance. However, the IC employee or contractor may opt to report urgent concerns to their respective IC agency Inspector General and follow the guidance provided by that Inspector General. Regardless, IC employees and contractors must follow proscribed procedures when reporting urgent concerns to Congress to ensure that their activities are authorized and that their conduct is protected under Whistleblower protection laws.