Procedures for Investigating Allegations Concerning Senior Administration Officials

Headnotes: 

A proposal whereby personnel from one agency’s Office of Inspector General would conduct an investigation of allegations of non-criminal misconduct by employees of another agency, or by the head of another agency, and report to the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency, is of questionable legality.

The President has inherent authority to supervise and direct the performance of his appointees in office, and to investigate allegations of possible misconduct related to that performance.

Under the Inspector General Act, an Inspector General and his staff are authorized to conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct only when those allegations involve fraud and abuse in the programs and operations of the particular agency in which the office is located.

An agency head has authority to investigate allegations of misconduct against any officer or employee of his agency, including the agency’s Inspector General. If under the circumstances he deems it prudent, an agency head may request that investigative personnel be detailed from another agency on a reimbursable basis to conduct such an investigation, though in such a case the investigative authority of any such detailed personnel could not exceed his own.

Updated July 9, 2014