OSI conducting a field test and ballistics examination of a firearm used in a crime.

DSS Office of Special Investigations (OSI) spans the globe. It is the primary office within DSS that conducts and/or coordinates investigations of alleged administrative and criminal misconduct involving State Department employees, dependents, contractors, and other U.S. government personnel under chief of mission authority overseas.

DSS special agents in OSI work with regional security officers in the field when responding to crimes overseas. OSI also conducts investigations involving department employees, contractors, and other U.S. government detailees domestically when there is a connection to department operations in the United States.

Authority for overseas investigations.

In accordance with 18 U.S.C. 7, Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction (SMTJ), and 22 U.S.C. 2709 (a) (1) (C), DSS special agents have the authority to investigate and make arrests for  federal offenses committed within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7(9) of title 18), except as such jurisdiction relates to the premises of United States military missions and related residences.

OSI investigates violations of federal law that fall within the SMTJ, occurring under the authority of a U. S. chief of mission.  Typical extraterritorial investigations include, but are not limited to:

  • Assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Child abuse and neglect;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Homicide; and
  • Theft or destruction of U.S. government property.

OSI also investigates allegations of State Department employee and contractor administrative misconduct. OSI personnel work closely with the department’s Global Talent Management team and DSS’ Office of Personnel Security and Suitability to ensure that the department’s workforce is held to the highest standards of professional conduct.

OSI agents are students and instructors at crime scene investigation classes throughout the US. Pictured is an OSI-led forensics classroom at the DS training facility.

U.S. Department of State

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