Inspector General Community Launches to Increase Accessibility to Reports

On August 2, 2017, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) launched, a central repository for Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports that is intended to "improve the public's access to independent and authoritative information about the Federal Government." The website is currently being beta tested. As of August 2, 2017, 36 of 73 OIGs were participating in the beta test (Table 1). The establishment of, and participation in, the website is not statutorily required. is intended to be the first one-stop shop for OIG reports. Section 8M(b)(1) of the Inspectors General Act of 1978, as amended, requires all OIG audit, evaluation, or inspection reports to be posted on individual OIG respective websites. Several factors, however, may affect the accessibility and utility of reports on individual OIG websites. For example, OIG reports might be difficult to locate due to varied website layouts and the lack of keyword search functions. Further, it may be difficult to compare report findings and recommendations across OIGs for similar or shared issues, such as compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Table 1. OIG Participation in Beta Test

As of August 14, 2017

Participating OIGs

Non-participating OIGs

AbilityOne Commission

Agency for International Development


Architect of the Capitol

Appalachian Regional Commission

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Central Intelligence Agency

Corporation for National & Community Service

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Denali Commission

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Department of Defense

Defense Intelligence Agency

Department of Education

Department of Agriculture

Department of Energy

Department of Commerce

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Department of the Treasury

Department of Justice

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Department of Labor

Farm Credit Administration

Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors

Federal Communications Commission

Department of the Interior

Federal Election Commission

Department of Transportation

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Department of Veterans Affairs

Federal Labor Relations Authority

Election Assistance Commission

Federal Trade Commission

Environmental Protection Agency

Government Accountability Office

Export-Import Bank

Government Publishing Office

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Legal Services Corporation

Federal Maritime Commission

Library of Congress

General Services Administration

National Archives and Records Administration

International Trade Commission

National Endowment for the Arts

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Credit Union Administration

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

National Science Foundation

National Labor Relations Board

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

National Reconnaissance Office

Office of Personnel Management

National Security Agency

Peace Corps

Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

Small Business Administration

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Smithsonian Institution

Postal Regulatory Commission

Social Security Administration

U.S. Railroad Retirement Board

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program

Content of

Reports currently features a database of reports authored by participating OIGs from 2000 through the present, including audits, inspections/evaluations, investigations, semiannual reports, and other reviews. All reports are uploaded directly by the authoring OIG. A notable feature of the website is the search function—users can generate a customized list of reports based on multiple data elements, such as the agency OIG, report type, or keyword (Figure 1). Customized searches are not typically available on individual OIG websites. also provides a standard data summary for each posted report that includes, among other things (1) the number of OIG recommendations; (2) "Questioned costs," or total agency costs questioned by the OIG; and (3) "Funds for Better Use," or potential cost savings/avoidances anticipated upon implementing OIG recommendations.

Aggregate Data

In addition to reports, includes graphics of aggregate data on OIG audits and investigations. Some graphics include community-wide data, whereas others include data from participating OIGs only. For example, the investigations tab depicts the total number of successful criminal prosecutions that resulted from all OIG investigations between FY2011 and FY2015 (as reported in CIGIE's Annual Report to the President). In contrast, the reports tab appears to depict the total number of participating OIG recommendations from FY2012 to FY2017.

OIG Open Recommendations

At present, does not include a database of open recommendations—those that have not been adopted or implemented by the affiliated agency. OIG semiannual reports, which are posted on the website, are statutorily required to include information on some, but not all, open recommendations. The Department of Justice OIG uploaded to a separate annual compendium of open Department of Justice OIG recommendations. Other OIGs have published similar reports, but have not uploaded them to the website (e.g., Department of Defense) or are not yet participating in the beta test (e.g., Department of Health & Human Services).

Figure 1. Search Functions for OIG Reports

As of August 14, 2017


Recent Congressional Actions on OIG Report Transparency

In recent years, Congress has taken steps to enhance the transparency and oversight of OIG reports, particularly recommendations. Most notably, Congress passed the IG Empowerment Act of 2016, which requires OIGs to, among other things, submit to Congress all documents containing recommendations and post such documents on their respective websites. Some Members of Congress have also proposed establishing repositories of open recommendations. Senator Heidi Heitkamp introduced the Inspector General Recommendation Transparency Act (S. 3109) in the 114th Congress, which proposed requiring federal IGs to post on their websites a list of recommendations "that [have] not been adopted or implemented" by the affiliated agency.

Possible Oversight Issues

As CIGIE continues to build out, Congress might consider the following oversight issues:

  • the pace of CIGIE's progress in completing, including the projected completion timeframe; anticipated capabilities of the final website; and incorporation of suggestions to alter the content of structure of the beta website;
  • which of the remaining 37 OIGs will join the beta test, and whether legislation should require OIG participation on the finalized website;
  • whether, and in what capacity, the website will include an open recommendations database, including how it might compare to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) open recommendations database;
  • the utility of the website to Congress and its impact on oversight of OIG activities;
  • the utility of the website to OIGs, including the extent to which it could simplify or automate certain activities—such as the development of semiannual reports—and allow OIGs to redirect resources to other activities; and
  • the quality and accuracy of data presented, as well as the capacity of, and coordination between, CIGIE and OIGs to maintain website content.