Public corruption, the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority, poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It can affect everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected to how verdicts are handed down in courts to how public infrastructure such as roads and schools are built. It also takes a significant toll on the public’s pocketbooks by siphoning off tax dollars—it is estimated that public corruption costs the U.S. government and the public billions of dollars each year.
The FBI is uniquely situated to combat corruption, with the skills and capabilities to run complex undercover operations and surveillance.
The Bureau’s Public Corruption program focuses on:
- Investigating violations of federal law by public officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government;
- Overseeing the nationwide investigation of allegations of fraud related to federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs;
- Combating the threat of public corruption along the nation’s borders and points of entry in order to decrease the country’s vulnerability to drug and weapons trafficking, alien smuggling, espionage, and terrorism.
- Addressing environmental crime, election fraud, and matters concerning the federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs.
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’s tasks include:
- Overseeing the Bureau’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and antitrust cases;
- Maintaining operational oversight of several International Contract Corruption Task Forces, 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.
No other law enforcement agency has attained the kind of success the FBI has achieved in combating corruption. This success is due largely to the cooperation and coordination from a number of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to combat public corruption. These partnerships include, but are not limited to the Department of Justice, Agency Offices of Inspector General; law enforcement agencies’ internal affairs divisions; federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory investigative agencies; and state and county prosecutor’s offices.
Edited by Admin