Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) are generally known for performing investigations of executive branch agencies in order to combat waste, fraud and abuse. But many IGs also have a law enforcement function, and many of their employees are armed.
The most recent data available (from 2008) indicate that 33 Offices of Inspector General had a total of 3,501 agents who were authorized to carry firearms, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service. Intelligence community IGs do not appear to be among them.
Why does the US Department of Agriculture IG, for example, need staff with guns?
Agriculture IG employees regularly conduct undercover operations, according to information that USDA provided to CRS. “The types of investigations conducted by OIG special agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties.” See Offices of Inspector General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief, September 8, 2014.
Other new and updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty: Background and Current Developments, updated September 29, 2014
Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights, October 1, 2014
Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Progress and Continuing Challenges, CRS Insights, October 1, 2014
Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights, September 30, 2014
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, updated October 1, 2014
India-U.S. Economic Relations: In Brief, September 26, 2014
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations, updated October 2, 2014
Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113th Congress, September 30, 2014
Reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Issues for Consideration, updated September 30, 2014
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments, September 26, 2014
Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues, updated September 26, 2014
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources, updated September 25, 2014