Government Oversight and Investigation
The activities of every appointee and agency are subject to review - "oversight and investigation" - by three primary entities: multiple congressional committees, the General Accounting Office, and the agency's Inspector General. While these entities try not to duplicate each other's work, occasionally issues become the target of simultaneous scrutiny by several oversight bodies.
Why should I care about these entities?
While they cannot compel appointees to take specific actions, their findings and recommendations are generally open to the public and the media, they can urge the Congress to address unresolved recommendations through the legislative process, and often they have valuable insights and ideas that can help an official manage more effectively.
Moreover, with limited statutory law enforcement and national security exceptions, these bodies must be provided access to most information from the Executive Branch. Appointees are urged to seek guidance from their General Counsels on any agency exceptions and/or protocols in handling requests from any oversight body.
Questions about relationships with any oversight entity may also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget's Deputy Director for Management or to the OMB Program Associate Director for your agency.