Inspector General Authority to Conduct Regulatory Investigations

Headnotes: 

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, does not generally vest in the Inspector General of the Department of Labor the authority to conduct investigations pursuant to regulatory statutes administered by the Department of Labor. The Inspector General has an oversight rather than a direct role in investigations conducted pursuant to regulatory statutes: he may investigate the Department’s conduct of regulatory investigations, but may not conduct such investigations himself.

The responsibility to conduct regulatory investigations cannot be delegated by the Secretary to the Inspector General pursuant to section 9(a)(2) of the Inspector General Act.

The significant investigative authority granted to Inspectors General under the Inspector General Act includes the authority to investigate recipients of federal funds, such as contractors and grantees, to determine if they are complying with federal laws and regulations and the authority to investigate the policies and actions of the Departments and their employees. This latter authority includes the authority to exercise “oversight” over the investigations that are integral to the programs of the Department.

Updated July 9, 2014