The mission of the OIG is to provide independent oversight and promote excellence, integrity, and accountability within the programs, operations, and management of the Department of the Interior.
Who We Are
Regulating energy development…Conserving land and water resources…Protecting wildlife…Conducting science research...Preserving national parks, monuments, and heritage areas…Addressing American Indian concerns.
These diverse activities and more are the responsibility of the Department of the Interior, and the Office of Inspector General follows the guiding principles of its mission to root out and prevent fraud, waste, and mismanagement within DOI. The Department manages about one-fifth of the land area of the United States, and DOI’s eight primary bureaus – such as the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey -- assist in protecting America’s great outdoors, preserving cultural resources, and powering our nation’s future.
We are a highly motivated organization of 300 employees conducting independent oversight and responding in the best interest of American taxpayers to ensure that DOI earns the public’s trust. We are alert to waste, fraud, and mismanagement, whether expressed as administrative waste or criminal activity, and we use a range of audit and investigative tools to ensure that the Secretary, the Congress, and the public are informed when changes to DOI programs become necessary to achieve this goal.
Please play this video to find out more about our most valued asset - our people.
Who is the OIG?
November 20, 2013
[background music] [00:00] Jeff Carlson: [0:17] My career with the OIG was really unplanned, and what I consider serendipity. Tara Walker: [0:24] I worked in public relations for five years, at a big old international PR firm. It was a good job, but I knew I needed to do something more. Vince Haecker: [0:32] It was very refreshing. It's exactly what I was looking for when I left the Air Force, was that family feel, higher caliber of people. Mary Strand: [0:40] I think the things that stood out to me the most during the entire interview process were how passionate people in the office were about their jobs. Peter Rich: [0:54] What is this Department of the Interior place? Once I'd gotten here and learned it's Fish and Wildlife, it's Park Service, it's Surface Mining, it's a lot of preservation and ecological stuff that I have an interest in, and passion for. Arthur Willhite: [1:13] A lot of times, government is government, no matter what agency you're in, but the mission and function of this agency is phenomenal. The mission to preserve our Nation's treasures at our parks and our monuments, the heritage of the Native Americans that we work with, helping to preserve their traditions. Justice Owen: [1:36] It makes me feel good to feel that I'm doing something for my country. I think that's the most exciting thing is that what I do, I help in making a difference in the way that our country's run. Tara Walker: [1:48] That's our job is to make our bureau's decisions, investigations, and audits more transparent to the American people. It felt good to achieve that goal. Patrick O'Boyle: [1:57] It's a public duty. I think that's why a lot of people get into Federal service, because it makes you get up in the morning and know that your responsibility actually matters. That a kid's going to be able to walk into Yellowstone and have his jaw drop, because funds weren't misappropriated. Alexandra Samuel: [2:14] Our goal is just to help make things better in our community. We are people from the community, and that makes it even more exciting, because whatever happens also affects us. Charles Haman: [2:31] We do have great diversity here in OIG in terms of everyone's backgrounds. Frankly, we need that, because the Department's portfolio of missions is so diverse. We have people with some experience in land management, or Indian affairs, or contracting, or finance. Take all those pieces and put them together is really what you need as a strong team, with this variety of skill sets and perspectives. Patrick Morrissey: [3:03] Because of the work force that's changing, now you've got folks with evaluators. They look at things a little differently than auditors. That provides a totally different perspective. You might look at something the same way over and over again. With evaluators, or somebody who's not thinking like an auditor, they might look at it a little differently. It might put a different twist on it. You might have never thought of it that way. Patrick O'Boyle: [3:34] My boss is from the Virgin Islands. My team lead is a 20-year colonel from the Air Force, and I'm some kid fresh out of college. That's a multi-tiered group. It's very funny, because for the project we're working on now, I see certain things totally differently than folks from a generation behind me. I don't know who's right, we've yet to see who's right. I tend to think that a mixture of the two is probably the best. Steve Shillingford: [4:09] Everyone in our section, they are all very experienced investigators and agents. Many of them have over 10 years of experience in law enforcement, so every one of them brings a unique experience. What's good is that we get a chance to bounce off of each other ideas. We work as a team. You get an opportunity to learn from everyone's experience, and I think that that's been what keeps me going, is being able to learn from other people. Mary Strand: [4:41] You get a multitude of backgrounds and perspectives, so every time you collaborate on a job with someone from a different office, you get to step back and have their perspective added, which can change the outcome completely. I always think it's interesting. Alexandra Samuel: [5:00] We work together as a team. We do everything together from beginning to end. Tara Walker: [5:04] That's what I really most enjoy about working here, is that people are very bright and capable, and it's fun to work with them. They all have great stories. They all have good reasons to be here. Jeff Carlson: [5:15] People that work with me, they're fantastic, and we look out for each other. They always have my back. My success has really been with the people that I work with, and that's really why I love my job. Justice Owen: [5:30] I can say that the best part of this organization is that we are a small organization. It is like a tight-knit family, that you feel like you're a part of something when you're here, and you feel like that you're achieving something. Vincent Haecker: [5:44] Definitely got that family feel, that family approach, which I think a lot of times when you get in these big government agencies, they lose that. You hate saying you're a number, or you feel like a number, but sometimes in those bigger agencies you can get lost. I don't feel like I'm lost here, I feel like I'm a person. That, for me, I think is what keeps me coming back to work every day, every day, with Interior, because it's intriguing to me. It's that missing piece of the puzzle, and I'm a naturally inquisitive person, so it's a perfect fit. Justice Owen: [6:11] I love making a difference. It's my passion and it drives me to do better, and there's never a dull moment around here. Voiceover: [6:25] We are a dynamic team, working to protect our nation's lands and parks, safeguard our wildlife and natural resources, preserve our cultural heritage and treasures, prevent wasteful spending, investigate crimes, stop fraud and improve government. We are a small family of public servants, with a common passion to make a difference for our country.
What We Do
The OIG accomplishes its mission by performing audits, investigations, evaluations, inspections, and other reviews of the Department’s programs and operations. We independently and objectively identify risks and vulnerabilities that directly affect, or could impact, DOI’s mission and the vast responsibilities of its bureaus and entities. We target our resources by identifying and developing solutions for the Department’s most serious management and program challenges.
Our strategies are aimed at ensuring the OIG is relevant and respected for its independent expertise and objective products. We continuously evaluate our efforts to improve the accountability of DOI and our responsiveness to Congress, the Department, and the public. We seek continuous improvement within, and we believe in the limitless potential of our employees to maintain OIG as a leading organization in the Federal government.
Insular Area Audit Responsibilities
Under the Insular Areas Act of 1982 (48 U.S.C. § 1422), the Inspector General performs the functions of “government comptroller” in the United States insular areas of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands by conducting audits of all property, receipts, revenues, and expenditures. The OIG also has audit responsibilities in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau pursuant to the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 (48 U.S.C. § 1681 note).