The Office of Inspector General (OIG)

The OIG provides independent oversight of NRO program and activities through audits, inspections, and investigations. We evaluate compliance with laws and regulations and recommend improvements to assist management in making decisions that foster integrity throughout the organization.

We have the following vision, mission, and values:

Our Vision

Vigilance From Within

Our Mission

Independent and objective oversight and insight championing NRO mission success.

OIG Core Values

Integrity, Excellence, Diversity, Accountability, and Respect.

For more Office of Inspector General (OIG) Resources see below.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) Resources

OIG Governing Authorities and Responsibilities

The NRO OIG derives authority from and is assigned obligations by a variety of statutes, regulations and Executive Orders, including the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, Executive Order 12333, and NRO Directives.

The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 provided for a Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) to address integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies and increase the professionalism and effectiveness of personnel by developing policies, standards and approaches to aid in the establishment of a well-trained and highly skilled workforce in the OIG.

Other authorities include:

  • Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, P.L. 111-259
  • Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act of 1982, P.L. 95-452
  • Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, P.L. 101-576
  • Government Management Reform Act of 1994, P.L. 103-356
  • Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208
  • Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, P.L. 106-531
  • Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, P.L. 107-347
  • Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003, P.L. 108-277
  • Inspector General Reform Act of 2008, P.L. 110-409
  • Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, Signed into Law 4 Apr 2012

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How Does the OIG Contribute to the NRO Mission?

The OIG contributes by:

  • Offering analysis and advice on critical government-wide initiatives, such as computer security, program performance, workforce planning, and financial management.
  • Looking independently at problems and recommend solutions.
  • Issuing factual reports based on professional auditing, investigative, and evaluation standards.
  • Investigating fraud, misuse of funds, and other violations of laws and regulations.
  • Providing technical and consultative advice as the agency develops new plans.
  • Maintaining a hotline for reporting confidential information on fraud and abuse.

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OIG Audit Staff

The OIG Audit Staff conducts financial and performance audits of NRO programs and provides actionable recommendations that are designed to improve NRO programs and activities. Audits focus on detecting fraud, waste, and mismanagement; improving economy efficiency, and effectiveness; ensuring that laws and regulations are followed; and promoting effective management controls. To best meet the strategic objectives of the NRO, the Audit Staff is subdivided into three distinct groups — Acquisition, Financial Management, and Information Technology — with teams in Chantilly, Virginia and Denver, Colorado.

OIG Inspection Staff

The Inspection Staff conducts focused and objective evaluations of a unit’s policies, programs, and activities. Inspections are conducted for the purposes of providing timely information to managers for decision-making; monitoring compliance; measuring performance; assessing efficiency and effectiveness; making value-added recommendations for improvements to programs, policies, or procedures; and sharing best practices. Inspections are conducted in accordance with the Quality Standards for Inspection and Evaluation issued by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

OIG Investigation Staff

The Investigation Staff conducts inquiries into potential violations of federal criminal law on the part of NRO personnel, contractors, or others acting on behalf of the NRO when such violations involve NRO funds, property, operations, or activities. The investigations staff receives complaints via the OIG Hotlink, walk-ins, and referrals from law enforcement agencies, NRO offices, and contractors; maintains an active partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Department of Justice, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, and the ethics and compliance offices of NRO Contractors; and engages in proactive measures to detect and prevent contract fraud via our Procurement Fraud Initiative.

OIG Special Projects Staff

The Special Projects Staff is responsible for the development and execution of quick turnaround projects and ad hoc requests that arise during the year that are outside of the annual planning cycles. These projects generally don’t fit within the realm of a traditional audit or inspection and may leverage the skillsets of multiple OIG functions. The Special Projects Staff also includes the data analytics effort. This effort identifies, accumulates and analyzes information to identify trends, risk, and areas of potential fraud, waste and mismanagement at the NRO. The information assists the OIG in conducting current projects, identifying potential areas for further analysis, and provides a foundation for a continuous risk assessment.

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NRO Corporate Disclosure Record

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.203-13, Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, requires contractors to notify the Government in writing whenever the contractor has credible evidence that a violation of the Civil False Claims Act or other Federal law has occurred in connection with the award or performance of Federal contracts or subcontracts over $5 million. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Acquisition Manual (NAM) Clause N52.203-001, NRO Inspector General and the NRO Hotline, requires contractors to report to the NRO Office of the Inspector General (OIG) any and all possible violations of Federal law or illegal intelligence activities by individuals charging directly or indirectly to NRO contracts or subcontracts over $100,000.

The notification requirements of the NAM Clause extend beyond those of the FAR Clause. Accordingly, when both clauses are included in an NRO contract, satisfying the notification requirements of the NAM Clause will also satisfy the reporting requirements under the FAR.

NRO contractors must notify the OIG in writing whenever there is any possible violation of Federal law or illegal intelligence activities related to the award, administration, performance, or closeout of an NRO contract or subcontract by individuals charging directly or indirectly to the NRO contract.

Notification can be submitted by mail, electronic mail, facsimile.  Timely notification is essential; if all required information cannot be collected within ten days from the date when the decision to notify is made, the contractor should submit a partial report and provide the remaining information when available. The OIG will contact the individual listed as the contractor point of contact by phone within ten working days after notification to discuss the disclosure.

When formal notification is not required by the NAM Clause, contractors may report other issues by calling the OIG Hotline: (703) 808-1644 (U), Denver (303) 677-6226 (U), Los Angeles (310) 416-7428 (U), or by visiting the OIG Hotlink on the NRO Contractor Wide Area Network.

Mail  Office of Inspector General  National Reconnaissance Office  14675 Lee Road  Chantilly, VA 20151-1715

Corporate Disclosure Form

NRO OIG can reached at NRO_OIG@NRO.MIL.

Please contact the NRO OIG at (703) 808-1644, if you have any questions.

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Contact Us

The OIG welcomes your concerns, questions, suggestion, or comments on any issue involving the NRO.

The OIG relies on concerned individuals to provide us with information regarding waste, fraud, or mismanagement pertaining to NRO activities. We understand the value of information provided by individuals who desire to maintain their anonymity. We also recognize the value of being able to contact those individuals who ask for additional information or clarification of their concerns. Often, that additional information or clarification is necessary for successful conclusion of an OIG inquiry. We encourage you to identify yourself; however, it is not required. If you choose to identify yourself, please provide a detailed description, suggested below, of the issue or concern by email to Remember, we cannot divulge your identity to external organizations or agencies without your expressed consent. If you choose to remain anonymous, you may call the Hotline, 703-808-1644, or provide the details of your concern by mail to NRO OIG, 14675 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA, 20151.

We ask that you include the following information when providing information regarding fraud, waste or mismanagement pertaining to NRO activities:

  • A detailed description of the issue or concern (Please be as specific as possible as to the "Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How”);
  • Please inform us as to what other offices or organizations you have contacted regarding this matter and their responses, if any;
  • Optional - Your name, a contact telephone number, and your office/location.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Inspector General selected and who does the Inspector General report to?

The NRO Inspector General is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.


How does the Inspector General keep the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Defense, and Congress up-to-date on findings?

The Office of Inspector General publishes a semiannual report, which summarizes the OIG’s work products.


What is the difference between an audit, inspection, and investigation?

An audit and inspection are proactive reviews of topics and offices. An audit is usually topical (such as an acquisition process) and the topic is reviewed — in depth — across the entire agency. An inspection reviews many topics within a unit or office — at a high level. An investigation is more reactive and will generally be in response to an anomaly within the agency.


Do audits and inspections ever turn up anything besides bad news?

Absolutely! Many of our reviews show that programs are working effectively, and many others show that effective programs can be made even more so with moderate changes. Directors and NRO employees welcome unbiased opinions to help them make good operations even better. For example, we conducted a case study of a NRO program that identified excellent acquisition management practices and lessons learned that could be applied to ongoing and future NRO programs.


Are audit and inspection results made public?

No. The nature of the topics the NRO OIG reviews are classified and not made available to the public.


How does the OIG choose the programs it will audit, inspect, or investigate?

Some projects are required by law. Others are requested by the NRO Director, officials of the Directorates and Offices of the NRO, or members of Congress. The OIG also sets up its own priorities through an annual work plan process. The OIG weighs such factors as developing issues, the NRO strategic goals, and management challenges, in order to produce products that are useful, relevant, and understandable to the intended audience. On the investigation side, many OIG probes start with a referral from NRO employees, managers, or contractors. Others start when investigators within the OIG suspect a pattern of criminal behavior. Still others begin when people call the OIG Hotline, a phone line dedicated to help citizens, including government workers, "blow the whistle" on waste, fraud, or mismanagement. OIG's Hotline can be reached at 703-808-1644 or


What protections are available for whistle blowers?

There are laws that protect "whistle-blowers" from reprisals like removal or reassignment, such as the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1984, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the IG Act(s). Federal employees and contractors are covered under these acts.


What is fraud, waste, and mismanagement?

Fraud is any knowing deception designed to unlawfully deprive the United States of something of value or to secure from the United States a benefit, privilege, allowance, or consideration to which an individual(s) is not entitled. Waste is the extravagant, careless, or needless expenditure of government funds, or the consumption of government property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions. Mismanagement is managing ineffectively, incompetently, carelessly, or wrongly. Mismanagement ranges from making poor decisions to breaking rules for personal gain.


What can/can't the NRO OIG investigate?

OIG investigations identify and develop facts related to allegations of wrongdoing on the part of NRO employees and individuals or entities having contracts with or receiving benefits from the NRO. OIG investigations address administrative, civil, and criminal violations of law and regulations. The subject of an OIG investigation can be any agency employee, a NRO contractor, consultant, or a person or entity involved in alleged wrongdoing affecting NRO programs and operations.


Do NRO OIG investigators have the authority to arrest suspects?

No. OIG investigators work closely on investigations with U.S. Attorney's Offices and relevant law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who have the authority to make arrests.


May I remain anonymous when contacting the NRO OIG?

Yes. The OIG relies on concerned employees and citizens to provide us with information regarding alleged waste, fraud, and mismanagement in the NRO. We realize that you may wish to remain anonymous in submitting an allegation to us. However, your information is most useful to us if we can contact you by telephone or mail for additional information or, in some cases, if we can interview you personally. Therefore, we encourage you to identify yourself when you contact us.


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