Public Corruption

Public Corruption

Public corruption tears at the fabric of our communities and our national security. Elected or appointed officials are entrusted and expected to protect the interests of the people with integrity. When that trust is betrayed, the security and stability of our government is put at risk. Since 9/11, combating public corruption has become the FBI’s top criminal priority. This includes addressing corruption at all levels of government and monitoring corrupt activities of U.S. officials within and outside the nation’s borders. Through intelligence analysis, the public corruption program seeks to identify any connection to terrorism or foreign intelligence that would pose an imminent threat to national security. Since 2001, the work of the public corruption program has led to nearly 8,000 arrests for corruption violations, helping to address the FBI’s broader mission to protect the nation’s borders and interests and people around the world.   

Intelligence-Driven Strategy for Operations

  • The FBI is the lead agency for public corruption violations in the United States.
  • The FBI’s public corruption program investigates violations of federal law by public officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government and oversees the nationwide investigation of allegations of fraud related to federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs. The FBI’s public corruption program also addresses environmental crime, election fraud, and matters concerning the integrity committee of the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency.
  • In 2008, the FBI created the International Corruption Unit (ICU) to oversee the increasing number of investigations involving global fraud against the U.S. government and the corruption of federal public officials outside of the continental U.S. involving U.S. funds, persons, businesses, etc.
    • The ICU also oversees the Bureau’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and antitrust cases.
    • The ICU maintains operational oversight of several International Contract Corruption Task Forces (ICCTFs), which investigate and prosecute individuals and firms engaged in bribery, illegal gratuities, contract extortion, bid rigging, collusion, conflicts of interest, product substitution, items and/or services invoiced without delivery, theft, diversion of goods, and individual and corporate conspiracies on every level of U.S. government operations.
    • Currently, the FBI has ICCTF special agents and analysts deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Pakistan, and South Korea.
  • The public corruption program established approximately 49 Border Corruption Task Forces to combat the threat of public corruption along the nation’s borders and points of entry and to decrease the country’s vulnerability to drug trafficking, alien smuggling, espionage, and terrorism.

Strategic Outreach and Integration

  • The FBI’s public corruption program has established and maintains liaison with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for each government agency to facilitate a comprehensive and coordinated approach to known crime problems and to organize appropriate referrals between the OIGs and the FBI.
  • To combat corruption, the FBI’s public corruption program works jointly with: 
    • Air Force Office of Special Investigations;
    • Defense Criminal Investigative Service;
    • Naval Criminal Investigative Service;
    • Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction;
    • Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction;
    • U.S. Agency for International Development;
    • U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit;
    • U.S. Department of State Office of Inspector General;
    • Department of Homeland Security;
    • Drug Enforcement Administration;
    • Internal Revenue Service; and
    • Multiple state, local, and international law enforcement partners.

September 2011 


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