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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 7: Agriculture
§2610.1 General statement.
(a) The Inspector General Act of 1978 as amended, Pub. L. 95-452, 5 U.S.C. App., establishes an Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and transfers to it the functions, powers, and duties of offices referred to in the Department as the “Office of Investigation” and the “Office of Audit,” previously assigned to the OIG created by the Secretary's Memoranda 1915 and 1727, dated March 23, 1977, and October 5, 1977, respectively. Under this Act, OIG is established as an independent and objective unit, headed by the Inspector General (IG), who is appointed by the President and reports to and is under the general supervision of the Secretary.
(b) The mission of OIG is to provide policy direction; to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of USDA programs and operations to determine efficiency and effectiveness; to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in such programs and operations; and to keep the Secretary and the Congress informed of problems and deficiencies relative to the programs and operations.
(c) The Secretary has made the following delegations of authority to the IG (7 CFR 2.33):
(1) Advise the Secretary and General Officers in the planning, development, and execution of Department policies and programs.
(2) Provide for the personal security of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary.
(3) Serve as liaison official for the Department for all audits of USDA performed by the General Accounting Office.
(4) In addition to the above delegations of authority, the IG, under the general supervision of the secretary, has specific duties, responsibilities, and authorities pursuant to the Act, including:
(i) Conduct and supervise audits and investigations relating to programs and operations of the Department.
(ii) Provide leadership, coordination, and policy recommendations to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in the administration of the Department's program and operations.
(iii) Keep the Secretary and the congress fully and currently informed about problems and deficiencies and the necessity for and progress of corrective actions in the administration of the Department's programs and operations.
(iv) Make such investigations and reports relating to the administration of programs and operations of the Department as are in the judgment of the IG, necessary or desirable.
(v) Review existing and proposed legislation and regulations and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Congress on the impact such laws or regulations will have on the economy and efficiency of program administration or in the prevention and detection of fraud and abuse in the programs and operations of the Department.
(vi) Have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, or other material available to the Department which relate to programs and operations for which the IG has responsibility.
(vii) Report expeditiously to the Attorney General any matter where there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law.
(viii) Issue subpoenas to other than Federal agencies for the production of information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data and documentary evidence necessary in the performance of functions assigned by the Act.
(ix) Receive and investigate complaints or information from any Department employee concerning possible violations of laws, rules or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific dangers to the public health and safety.
(x) Select, appoint, and employ necessary officers and employees in OIG in accordance with laws and regulations governing the civil service, including an Assistant Inspector General for Auditing and an Assistant Inspector General for Investigations.
(xi) Obtain services as authorized by Section 3109 of Title 5, United States Code.
(xii) Enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, inspections, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and private persons, and make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act to the extent and in such amounts as may be provided in an appropriation act.
(d) The IG, under the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981, Pub. L. 97-98, 7 U.S.C. 2270, and pursuant to rules issued by the Secretary in 7 CFR part 1a, has the authority to:
(1) Designate employees of the Office of Inspector General who investigate alleged or suspected felony criminal violations of statutes administered by the Secretary of Agriculture or any agency of USDA, when engaged in the performance of official duties to:
(i) Execute and serve a warrant for an arrest, for the search of premises, or the seizure of evidence when issued under authority of the United States upon probable cause to believe that such a violation has been committed;
(ii) Make an arrest without a warrant for any such violation if such violation is committed or if the employee has probable cause to believe that such violation is being committed in his/her presence; and
(iii) Carry a firearm.
(2) Issue directives and take the actions prescribed by the Secretary's rules.