•Assistance as an Inspector General function: Assistance is the IG function that provides Soldiers, Family members, DA civilians, retirees, and contract employees the ability to seek help from the IG on matters affecting their health, welfare, and personal readiness. By definition, an issue is a complaint, request for information, or request for assistance to the IG that does not identify someone by name as the violator of a standard.
•The IG’s role, as the commander’s representative, is to resolve these issues within the limits of the IG system. Complaints often contain both issues and allegations, but the assistance function focuses IG's on resolving only the issues. However, anyone may submit a complaint, allegation, or request for information or assistance to any Army IG concerning a matter of Army interest.
•The IG's will always adhere to the guidance on confidentiality and the rules placed upon IG records when performing the assistance function.
Inspections as an Inspector General function:
The IG inspections function is the primary IG function and the one that allows IG's to have the greatest impact on readiness and war-fighting capability throughout the Army. The primary purpose of all IG inspections is to resolve systemic issues throughout the Army and, in doing so, to evaluate the effectiveness of Army policies, determine the root causes of noncompliance, and recommend changes to policy proponents.
Overall, the inspections function entails conducting IG inspections, developing and implementing IG inspection programs, checking intelligence activities for policy compliance, and assisting the commander in maintaining a viable OIP.
Inspection selections process: Inspectors General will use a deliberate process to identify, evaluate, and set priorities for potential inspections of systemic and other issues for approval by the directing authority and inclusion in the IG inspection program within the command’s OIP.
Inspection types and focus: Inspections may focus on either organizations, functional systems, or both. Inspectors General may conduct three types of inspections:
General - Inspections that focus on organizations or units and are comprehensive in nature. General inspections are compliance oriented and assume that the standards against which the IG measures the organization are correct as written.
Special - Inspections that focus on functional systems (that is, systemic issues). Special IG inspections of systemic issues do not assume that the established standards are correct.
The Follow-up – Inspections that assesses the implementation of solutions recommended by an approved IG inspection and, although listed as the third inspection type, is normally the final step of all IG inspections.
Investigations as an Inspector General function. Investigations is the IG function that provides the commander or directing authority another means through which to resolve allegations of impropriety. Inspectors General may investigate violations of policy, regulation, or law; mismanagement; unethical behavior; fraud; or misconduct.
Commanders may opt for an IG investigation or investigative inquiry when extreme discretion is necessary or the allegation requires preliminary fact finding before deciding to resolve the alleged impropriety in command, IG, or other channels. The primary purpose of IG investigations and investigative inquiries is to resolve allegations of impropriety; to preserve confidence in the chain of command; and, if allegations are not substantiated, to protect the good name of the subject or suspect.
Inspectors General who conduct investigations or investigative inquiries obtain evidence to determine if the allegations are "substantiated" or "not substantiated" and if any issues associated with the allegation (or allegations) are "founded" or "unfounded" The preponderance of credible evidence is the standard of proof IG's use to substantiate or not substantiate allegations. Preponderance is defined as superiority of weight and indicates that the alleged impropriety probably occurred.
Teaching and training as both an embedded and independent function. Teaching and training is the fourth of the Army IG system’s four functions and is traditionally embedded in the first three—inspections, assistance, and investigations. While inspecting, assisting, or investigating, IGs enhance the war-fighting and readiness capabilities of the Army by teaching and training commanders, Soldiers, and civilians at all levels on current Army policy and doctrine. Additionally, IG's pass on lessons learned and good ideas observed during other inspections, assistance visits, and teaching-and-training sessions.