Matthew N. Tuchow
General Counsel to the Inspector General
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides legal advice to the Inspector General, his senior staff, and others in OIG on the full range of activities within OIG, including inspections, investigations and audits. OGC is responsible for managing OIG's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act programs. The Counsel to the Inspector General reports to the Inspector General, and is independent from the State Department's Legal Adviser and USAGM's General Counsel.
To maintain and ensure its independence, the OIG has its own Office of Counsel (OGC), which reports to and is under the supervision of the Inspector General rather than the Legal Adviser of the Department of State or the General Counsel of the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
OGC's primary functions include the following:
- Legal Advice Concerning OIG Activities
OGC provides legal advice to OIG personnel during the planning and performance of their duties, such as identifying and analyzing legal issues that bear on audit and inspection findings and recommendations, or investigative activities; providing guidance to ensure that those involved in OIG investigations are accorded legal rights; and coordinating with the counsel's office in other agencies. In conjunction with the Department of Justice, OGC represents the OIG in federal litigation.
- Review of Products and Policies
All OIG audit, inspection and investigative reports and internal policies are reviewed and approved by OGC before being finalized and issued. OGC reviews and comments on proposed legislation and regulations, revisions to the Foreign Affairs Manual, and initiatives of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE). Finally, all other OIG products, regardless of form or type are reviewed and approved by OGC prior to presentation or issuance.
OGC ensures OIG compliance with FOIA/PA issues. OGC reviews OIG products, redacting as appropriate, for posting on the OIG website and for dissemination to the Department, to the Congress, to the public and to FOIA/PA requesters.
- Personnel Issues
OGC represents the OIG in EEO complaints, mediations, grievances, disciplinary actions, or other administrative litigation related OIG personnel issues, including referral of items to the PCIE integrity committee.
- Ethics Issues
OGC provides guidance and review and clearance on request of the Inspector General and OIG employees on ethics-related issues, such as outside employment and post employment, service on outside boards, and participation in outside organizations.