The Federal Communications Com­mission enforces a wide array of regulations, addressing competition in the telephone industry, broadband internet access, equipment labeling and even broadcast indecency. Like most federal bureaucracies, the FCC has an inspector general looking over its shoulder, to “root out corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement in the most effective and enthusiastic fashion,” as President Jimmy Carter said when signing the Inspector General Act of 1978.

The inspector general has a critically important job and has the power to go over the heads of agencies to identify problems through reports to Congress. As a result, some tension is common and healthy between an agency and its inspector general.

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