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OIG exists as a statutorily created independent and objective unit within USDA, the purpose of which is to conduct audits and investigations; provide leadership and coordination to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and prevent fraud in USDA's programs and operations; and keep the Secretary and the Congress informed as to deficiencies in such programs and operations. USDA's mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. OIG, though independent, must work toward USDA's effectiveness to serve its statutory purpose.
 
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