HomeAbout UsA Brief History

History of the Defense Intelligence Agency's
Office of the Inspector General

In 1777, the revolutionary Continental Congress named Thomas Conway, a Major General in the Continental Army, as the first Inspector General (IG).  Conway remained in the job only briefly; he was replaced by Baron Frederick William Augustus von Steuben in 1778.  Baron von Steuben later earned the title “Father of the Inspector General system” because of his oversight expertise and his ability to ensure effective and efficient use of scarce resources by military personnel at all levels.  As reflected here, the IG concept was derived in part from the military custom of having an IG provide an independent review of the combat readiness of the Continental Army’s troops.  The need for oversight and independence has continued to evolve for many years.

Enigma machine

The Inspector General Act of 1978 created statutory IG positions within 14 Federal agencies.  This gave the IGs the authority to conduct inspections, audits, investigations, and other reviews relating to programs and operations.  The act also mandated the IGs provide semiannual and annual reports to Congress, as well as any senior or flagrant problems within their agency.  The Act has been amended several times to add new IGs and clarify reporting requirements.  Moreover, the Act has given IGs the authority and responsibility to be objective and independent voices for economy, efficiency, and effectiveness within the Federal Government.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers, and force planners in the department of defense and the intelligence community.  The global expanse of the DIA’s roles, mission, and workforce is also the span of the DIA Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG’s) oversight responsibilities.

The DIA OIG has a long history in providing impactful recommendations that assist DIA in achieving cost efficiencies and improvements to Agency programs and operations.  The OIG was established on October 1, 1961, and the IG reported to the Director, DIA.  The OIG’s mission was to promote the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of Agency programs and operations and to detect and deter fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.  To accomplish this, DIA OIG would inspect operations and investigate suspected wrongdoing.  Until the 1990s, the IG was a military officer who had substantial defense attaché experience.  Since 1991, a civilian senior executive has filled the IG Position.

The Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2010 established the DIA IG as a statutory IG under the IG Act of 1978 and a member of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.  With this new designation, DIA OIG assumed responsibilities for auditing the Agency’s financial statements and for other congressionally mandated oversight projects.

In 2014, Kristi Waschull became the IG for DIA.  She continues the proud tradition of leading the DIA OIG in compelling management actions through reports and recommendations to ensure the integrity and efficiency of DIA’s operations.