An independent watchdog agency, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is charged with ferreting out waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in both K–12 and postsecondary education. Some 230 employees conduct audits and investigations to ensure public programs are efficient and effective. OIG is funded by and reports directly to Congress, recovers $2 for every $1 spent on its efforts, and has proven a powerful arm to find and end fraud. Its budget, however, has nearly doubled in the past three and a half decades, going from roughly $30 million in 1980 to approximately $60 million in 2017 (adjusted for inflation). To see more about how the OIG operates, read “Inspecting the Inspector General” by Jason D. Delisle and Nat Malkus on

—Education Next

Last updated June 25, 2018