The DoD SIOO is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for the independent oversight of all intelligence, counterintelligence, and intelligence-related activities in the Department of Defense. The organization's charter can be found in DoD Directive 5148.13. The DoD SIOO ensures that all activities performed by intelligence, counterintelligence, and intelligence related units are conducted in accordance with Federal law, Executive Orders, DoD directives, regulations and policies.

The DoD SIOO is also charged with the management and direction of the DoD Intelligence Oversight program. The aim of the DoD program is to institutionalize:

    • The orientation and training of all intelligence personnel in intelligence oversight concepts,
    • An internal inspection program, and
    • A channel for the reporting of questionable or improper intelligence activities to the DoD SIOO and the DoD General Counsel, who are responsible for informing the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Included in the DoD IO program are the intelligence, counterintelligence, and intelligence related units, staffs, and activities of the Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, Military Services, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.