§ 403. Appointments
(a)In General.—There shall be at the head of each Office an Inspector General who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or investigations. Each Inspector General shall report to and be under the general supervision of the head of the establishment involved or, to the extent such authority is delegated, the officer next in rank below such head, but shall not report to, or be subject to supervision by, any other officer of the establishment. Neither the head of the establishment nor the officer next in rank below the head shall prevent or prohibit the Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation, or from issuing any subpoena during the course of any audit or investigation.
(b)Removal or Transfer.—An Inspector General may be removed from office by the President. If an Inspector General is removed from office or is transferred to another position or location within an establishment, the President shall communicate in writing the reasons for any such removal or transfer to both Houses of Congress, not later than 30 days before the removal or transfer. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a personnel action otherwise authorized by law, other than transfer or removal.
(c)Not Employee Determining Policy.—For the purposes of section 7324 of this title, an Inspector General shall not be considered to be an employee who determines policies to be pursued by the United States in the nationwide administration of Federal laws.
(d)Assistant Inspectors General and Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.—
(1)In general.—Each Inspector General shall, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations governing the civil service—
(A) appoint an Assistant Inspector General for Auditing who shall have the responsibility for supervising the performance of auditing activities relating to programs and operations of the establishment;
(B) appoint an Assistant Inspector General for Investigations who shall have the responsibility for supervising the performance of investigative activities relating to such programs and operations; and
(C) designate a Whistleblower Protection Coordinator who shall—
(i) educate agency employees—(I) about prohibitions against retaliation for protected disclosures; and(II) who have made or are contemplating making a protected disclosure about the rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures, including—(aa) the means by which employees may seek review of any allegation of reprisal, including the roles of the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Special Counsel, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and any other relevant entities; and(bb) general information about the timeliness of such cases, the availability of any alternative dispute mechanisms, and avenues for potential relief;
(ii) assist the Inspector General in promoting the timely and appropriate handling and consideration of protected disclosures and allegations of reprisal, to the extent practicable, by the Inspector General; and
(iii) assist the Inspector General in facilitating communication and coordination with the Special Counsel, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the establishment, Congress, and any other relevant entity regarding the timely and appropriate handling and consideration of protected disclosures, allegations of reprisal, and general matters regarding the implementation and administration of whistleblower protection laws, rules, and regulations.
(2)Whistleblower protection coordinator not to act as legal representative, agent, or advocate.—The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator shall not act as a legal representative, agent, or advocate of the employee or former employee.
(3)Whistleblower protection coordinator access to inspector general.—The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator shall have direct access to the Inspector General as needed to accomplish the requirements of this subsection.
(4)Whistleblower protection coordinator exception for intelligence activity.—For the purposes of this section, the requirement of the designation of a Whistleblower Protection Coordinator under paragraph (1)(C) shall not apply to—
(A) any agency that is an element of the intelligence community (as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003(4))); or
(B) as determined by the President, any executive agency or unit thereof the principal function of which is the conduct of foreign intelligence or counter intelligence activities.
(e)Rate of Pay.—The annual rate of basic pay for an Inspector General (as defined under section 401 of this title) shall be the rate payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of this title, plus 3 percent.
(f)Prohibition on Cash Awards.—An Inspector General (as defined under section 401 or 415(a) of this title) may not receive any cash award or cash bonus, including any cash award under chapter 45 of this title.
(g)Legal Advice.—Each Inspector General shall, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations governing the civil service, obtain legal advice from a counsel either reporting directly to the Inspector General or another Inspector General.
(Pub. L. 117–286, § 3(b), Dec. 27, 2022, 136 Stat. 4208.)