The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) manages its internal oversight through the Inspector General (IG), who is nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.
And, although the CIA’s Inspector General reports to the Director of the CIA, the statutes of this position include specific obligations and responsibilities to Congress. Further, the IG can only be removed from office by the President.
The IG heads the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which is responsible for promoting “economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability” of the CIA. The OIG works to detect and deter fraud, abuse, waste and mismanagement.
The OIG accomplishes its goal of independent oversight through:
- Independent audits
- Reviews of programs and operations
The OIG provides the Director, the CIA and Congressional intelligence committees with their findings, and they are often responsible for making recommendations based upon their gathered intelligence. It is common for the CIA special agents/investigators of the OIG to work with the Department of Justice and other federal agencies when conducting internal investigations.
The Organization of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
The OIG is organized into three, operational units to ensure the office’s efficient operation:
The OIG’s audit staff consists of auditors who are responsible for performing financial audits and performance reviews of CIA programs and activities.
The inspection staff consists of senior officers who conduct component inspections (assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of office-level components) and issue inspections (addresses topics that may affect broad segments of the agency).
The investigations staff consists of a number of professionally trained investigators who are responsible for investigating laws, rules and regulations involving internal fraud, waste, mismanagement, or other violations. These professionals, often referred to as CIA special agents or CIA investigators, are tasked with identifying inefficiencies or violations of CIA operations.
CIA Special Agent Jobs in Investigations
The CIA special agents (also referred to as CIA investigators) of the OIG’s investigations staff are tasked with conducting high-profile investigations into the CIA’s internal operations. These investigative professionals may work alone, within investigative teams, or as leaders of investigative teams.
Although CIA special agents in investigations generally work at CIA headquarters, overseas travel may be conducted at times. Individuals who want to become CIA special agents in investigations should possess a number of strengths and traits:
- Must have a solid knowledge of investigative techniques
- Must have the ability to draw applicable conclusions
- Must be able to work under pressure
- Must be able to interact effectively with people with different cultures and backgrounds
- Must be able to distinguish and prioritize key issues
- Must be able to communicate clearly, both written and verbal
- Must have the ability to bring together large quantities of data
- Must be able to prioritize a large number of tasks
- Must have excellent negotiation skills, while at the same time employing discretion and diplomacy
CIA special agent jobs also require meeting a core set of minimum requirements. Specifically, candidates for these investigative positions must:
- Be United States citizens
- Currently reside in the U.S. (The CIA accepts applications only from individuals in the U.S.)
- Possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Have at least 3 years of experience working in criminal investigations
- Must have a criminal investigative work history that focused on complex matters
- Must have an excellent employment performance record
The CIA strongly prefers that candidates for special agent jobs complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Individuals must complete the CITP as a condition of employment.
The CITP at the FLETC is a 56-day training program that is designed to serve as a basic framework in criminal investigations. Individuals who attend CITP training learn fundamental techniques and concepts in criminal investigation, thereby preparing them for federal careers as criminal investigators.
The CITP includes classroom lectures, laboratories, and practical exercises that are all used to impart upon students the critical knowledge, abilities and skills they will need as criminal investigators. This program also features real-life scenarios through which students work as members of small task force teams in a continuing case investigation. Throughout this part of the program, students must interview witnesses, performance surveillance and undercover operations, develop a case, write and execute search warrants, obtain an indictment, and even testify in a courtroom hearing.
Just a few of the areas covered by CITP training include:
- Physical conditioning
- Vehicle handling skills
- Physical evidence
- Firearms training
- Legal training
- Criminal case management