The statutory duties of the OIG were originally established by the DC Procurement Practices Act of 1985. In 1995, Congress substantially augmented the OIG's powers and responsibilities in the DC Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-8, §303 (adopted April 17, 1995). Subsequently, the DC Council enacted the "Office of the Inspector General Law Enforcement Powers Amendment Act of 1998," DC Law No. 12-190. The Act authorizes the OIG's criminal investigators to:
- carry firearms while engaged in the performance of official duties;
- make arrests without a warrant for felony violations committed in their presence; and
- execute search warrants issued upon probable cause.
Effective April 5, 2000, the Office of the Inspector General Powers and Duties Amendment Act of 1999 (DC Law 13-71) further amended the OIG's statute to, inter alia:
- codify the OIG's mission statement and the OIG's policy of nondisclosure of the identity of complainants or individuals providing information to the OIG, unless the IG determines that disclosure is unavoidable or necessary to further investigation;
- codify the OIG's responsibility to make recommendations to the Mayor or agency heads for administrative sanctions against any employee or contractor who refuses to cooperate with an official OIG investigation;
- clarify that in the course of its official duties, the OIG has access to all papers, documents or property belonging to, or in use by, District government and independent agencies, except the City Council and the District of Columbia Courts;
- require that the OIG comply with generally accepted auditing, inspection, and investigation standards; and
- require that the OIG develop and participate in a peer review which will enable the OIG to complete, every third year, a thorough assessment of its auditing, inspection, and investigative standards, policies, procedures, and quality controls.