Our Office

The mission of OIG is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity in the administration of programs and operation of City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City, and it has jurisdiction to conduct independent inquiries into most aspects of City government. The Office is a certified peer-reviewed member of the Association of Inspectors General. In addition, OIG and its staff hold various certifications and memberships including the Association of Local Government Auditors, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. OIG is organized into five operational units—Investigations, Audit and Program Review, Legal, Operations and Public Safety Oversight.

Investigations Section

Investigations conducts both criminal and administrative investigations of allegations of corruption, misconduct, waste, or substandard performance by governmental officers, employees, contractors, vendors, and licensees, among others. It conducts these investigations either in response to complaints from City employees or other citizens or on the Inspector General’s own initiative. Administrative cases generally involve violations of City rules, policies, procedures, or instances of waste and inefficiency while criminal cases involve violations of local, state, or federal criminal laws. In the event of wrongdoing in administrative cases, OIG will issue recommendations for disciplinary action that require a response or final action from the affected City Department. In criminal cases, OIG will work with the United States Attorney’s Office or the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which may prosecute these matters. OIG may also recommend program or policy changes, if an investigation reveals misconduct or inefficiencies that are not being addressed by City policy or procedure.

View summaries of OIG’s sustained investigations in Quarterly Reports.

Audit and Program Review Section

Audit & Program Review conducts independent, objective analysis and evaluations of City programs and operations, issues public reports, and makes recommendations to strengthen and improve the delivery of City services. The work of Audit & Program Review serves as a resource for the City Council, policymakers, civic and advocacy organizations, journalists, and the general public. This section conducts independent and professional audits of City programs and departments following generally accepted government auditing standards of the federal Government Accountability Office (The Yellow Book). Audit & Program Review is responsible for non-partisan research and review of City programs, including performance analysis of City services.

View prior audits and follow-up reports on OIG’s website.

Legal Section

Legal provides professional operational support to all of the other office components. The attorneys are frequently paired with investigators, performance analysts, and compliance officers to assist in complex investigations, audits, and program reviews and to help ensure that OIG investigations produce legally sound results. In disciplinary cases, Legal generates Summary Reports of Investigation that provide an overview and analysis of the evidence, along with findings and recommendations for final and formal decision by department heads. Additionally, under the Legal section Hiring Oversight performs legally mandated audits and reviews of the City’s hiring and employment practices to ensure compliance with the various City Hiring Plans. This section also provides guidance, training, and program recommendations to City departments handling a broad and complex array of employment-related actions.

Learn more about the history of hiring oversight in the City of Chicago and the City’s current hiring plans on OIG’s hiring oversight page.

Operations Section

Operations has two units. The Administration Unit supports the day-to-day operational functions of OIG by providing, among other things, fiscal, budgeting, human resources, and communications services. The Administration Unit also coordinates and implements innovative solutions and best practices, so OIG’s mission components are able to work effectively in accordance with regulatory requirements. The second unit within the Operations section is the Center for Information Technology and Analytics (CITA). CITA conducts data analytics in support of OIG’s mission and manages OIG’s structural and operational IT infrastructure. In addition, CITA compiles large data sets for statistical models, trends, predictions, and analyses that enable OIG to develop cases, conduct citywide program reviews and audits, and monitor citywide hiring practices. CITA is also responsible for the implementation and ongoing support and maintenance of the infrastructure and applications which support the office’s sections and mission.

Interested in working for OIG? Learn about career opportunities here.

Public Safety Oversight Section

The Public Safety Section conducts independent, evidence-based evaluations, inspections, and reviews of the operations, programs, policies, and practices of the City’s police and police accountability agencies – the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and the Chicago Police Board – through constitutional policing that safeguards civil liberties and civil rights and strengthens police-community relations based on legitimacy, trust, and confidence in law enforcement.

Learn more about police oversight in the City of Chicago here.