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NASA OIG Mandate, Mission and Guiding Principles


Public Law 95-452, known as the Inspector General Act of 1978, created independent audit and investigative units, called Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) at 63 Federal agencies.

The mandate of the OIGs, as spelled out in the Act, is to:

  • conduct and supervise independent and objective audits and investigations relating to agency programs and operations;

  • promote economy, effectiveness and efficiency within the agency;

  • prevent and detect crime, fraud, waste and abuse in agency programs and operations;

  • review and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to agency programs and operations;

  • keep the agency head and the Congress fully and currently informed of problems in agency programs and operations.


In accordance with the Inspector General Act, we conduct objective oversight of NASA programs and operations and independently report to the Administrator, Congress, and the public to further the Agency’s accomplishment of its mission.


NASA OIG is comprised of four Offices—Audits, Investigations, Counsel and Management and Planning—which implement and further the OIG mission as described below:

The Office of Audits (OA) conducts independent and objective audits, reviews, and other examinations to improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and to identify any waste and mismanagement in NASA programs, projects, operations, and contractor activities. In addition, the OA oversees the work of the independent public accountant in its audit of NASA’s financial statements.

The Office of Investigations (OI) investigates allegations of crime, cyber-crime, fraud, abuse or misconduct having an impact on NASA programs, operations, and resources. OI refers its findings to either the Department of Justice for prosecution or to NASA management for action. Through its investigations, OI identifies crime indicators and recommends effective measures for NASA management that are designed to reduce NASA’s vulnerability to criminal activity.

The Office of Counsel provides advice and assistance on a variety of legal issues and matters relating to OIG review of NASA programs and operations. The legal staff reviews legislation, regulations, Freedom of Information Act requests, and congressional matters that require OIG attention. Additionally, the Office of Counsel provides advice and assistance on legal matters to OIG senior management, auditors, and investigators, and serves as counsel in administrative litigation in which the OIG is a party or has a substantial interest. The staff also assists the Department of Justice in litigation in which the OIG participates as part of the prosecution or civil team, or in which the OIG is a witness or defendant.

The Office of Management and Planning (OMP) provides financial, procurement, human resources, administrative, and information technology (IT) services support to the OIG staff. OMP ensures state-of-the-art IT systems capabilities for the OIG, advises the Inspector General and OIG senior management on budget issues and human resources staffing matters, directs OIG internal management and support operations, and oversees development of and adherence to management policies and procedures.

The NASA OIG consists of approximately 190 auditors, analysts, specialists, investigators, attorneys and support staff at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and NASA Centers throughout the United States.


We maintain a workforce committed to performance, excellence, and accountability by working together to ensure that:

  • our activities result in needed change and are responsive to customer needs;

  • our opinions and products are independent, objective, and accurate;

  • our workforce is highly competent and seeks opportunities for continual improvement;

  • we act with professionalism, integrity, and transparency.

OIG auditors, investigators, analysts, specialists, attorneys, and administrative staff are located at NASA headquarters and NASA centers.

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NASA Curator: Michael Campbell
NASA Official: Lawrence Anderson
Last Updated: 07/27/2007
Last Reviewed: 07/06/2005