Removal of Inspectors General: Rules, Practice, and Considerations for Congress [Updated May 26, 2020] [open pdf - 433KB]
From the Introduction: "In 1978, Congress passed the Inspector General Act (IG Act; P.L. 95-452) with the intent to improve oversight within certain executive branch agencies. During the floor debate on the legislation, Senator Thomas Eagleton described independence as the 'most important' characteristic of the inspectors general. [...] The removal procedures for inspectors general, which fall between removal without limitations and removal only for cause, have been considered an integral element of that independence since 1978. Nonetheless, there have been some instances in which Presidents have removed inspectors general, and those actions have raised concerns in Congress. In addition, Congress has considered and enacted additional removal requirements since 1978. This In Focus provides an overview of the current removal procedure for inspectors general, identifies some notable removals, and discusses potential issues for Congress."
CRS In Focus, IF11546
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/