In 1975, following revelations of ethical abuses and serious misconduct by senior Department officials during the Watergate scandal, Attorney General Edward Levi issued an order establishing the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). The Attorney General’s order directed OPR to “receive and review any information concerning conduct by a Department employee that may be in violation of law, regulations or orders, or applicable standards of conduct.”
During its more than 40-year history, OPR has developed unique expertise conducting internal investigations concerning matters involving alleged professional misconduct. OPR has consistently sought to exercise its investigative authority with the highest degree of integrity, objectivity, and independence, regardless of the controversy or public profile of a particular matter.
Today, OPR’s primary mission is to ensure that Department attorneys perform their duties in accordance with the highest professional standards, as would be expected of the nation’s principal law enforcement agency. In addition, through investigations of FBI whistleblower retaliation complaints, OPR seeks to ensure that current, former, and prospective FBI employees are protected from reprisal when they report what they reasonably believe to be misconduct.