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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement?

A variety of situations may be considered fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement against District of Columbia government agencies.

Fraud
Any intentional deception designed to deprive the District of Columbia government unlawfully of something of value or to secure from the District an individual a benefit, privilege, allowance, or consideration to which he/she is not entitled. Such practices include, but are not limited to, the offer, payment, or acceptance of bribes or gratuities; making false statements; submitting false claims; using false weights or measures; evading or corrupting inspectors or other officials; deceit either by suppressing the truth or misrepresenting material facts; altering or substituting materials; falsifying records and books of accounts; arranging for secret profits, kickbacks, or commissions; and conspiring to use any of these devices. The term also includes conflict of interest cases, criminal irregularities, and the unauthorized disclosure of official information relating to procurement and disposal matters.

Waste
The extravagant careless, or needless expenditure of Government funds, or the consumption of Government property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions.

Abuse
The intentional or improper use of Government resources that can include the excessive or improper use of one's position, in a manner contrary to its rightful or legally intended use. Examples include misuse of rank, position, or authority or misuse of District government resources.

The majority of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement (FWAM) should be reported to your chain of command or your Inspector General.

Theft
Normally, reports of theft of Government property should be reported to the law enforcement authorities at the particular installation in question. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is responsible to investigate thefts and misappropriation of Government property. We will however, accept certain reports of Government property theft dependent on the circumstances surrounding your knowledge of the offense in question. If the allegations of theft of Government resources are regarding a senior official, involve a high-dollar amount, or you believe other circumstances apply, you are encouraged to contact the DCOIG Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page.

Time and Attendance
Report minor incidents of time and attendance abuse to your supervisory chain-of-command, DCOIG, and/or your Office Human Resources representative. If the allegations of time and attendance abuse are repeated and/or egregious; have not been addressed by your supervisory chain of command or your Office Human Resources representative; involve a senior official, or you believe other circumstances apply, you are encouraged to file the complaint with the DCOIG Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page.

Government vehicle misuse: Report minor incidents of misuse of Government vehicles to the DCOIG or Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA). If the allegations of Government vehicle misuse are repeated and/or egregious; or involves a senior official, you are encouraged to file the complaint with the DCOIG Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page. It would be helpful to have the license tag number, color, model, and make of the subject vehicle, in addition to date, time, and location that the misuse was observed.

Who may file a complaint with the OIG?

Anyone who suspects or has evidence of that may be considered fraud, waste, or abuse to the DC Office of Inspector General (DCOIG). I have information about fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement relating to the District of Columbia government operations and/or District employees.

How should I report this information to the OIG?

You have several options

  • Call the OIG Hotline at (202) 724-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-521-1639;
  • Visit our office and discuss the matter with an OIG employee;
  • Send a letter to the OIG;
  • Visit the website and send an email to Ask the Director or fill out the online complaint form.

What information must I provide to the OIG?

Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much pertinent information as possible about the alleged suspect(s) and/or victim(s) involved. The more you information you provide us, the more thorough any OIG investigation can be in determining whether a crime or a violation has been committed.

As you fill out a fraud allegation, please include the following about the alleged suspect(s) and/or victim(s):

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers

It’s especially helpful to know facts about the alleged fraud, such as:

  • the specific nature of the wrongful or inappropriate act (give as many details as possible);
  • the location where the wrongful or inappropriate act took place or the place where the person works;
  • the name of person(s) who committed the act;
  • the date and time the act occurred;
  • the reason you believe the act is wrongful or inappropriate; and
  • the name, telephone number, and address of any person who can corroborate or supplement your information.

If I don’t come to your office, how would I know if the OIG received my complaint?

If you submit an email complaint, you will receive an email acknowledgement letter. If you submit a written letter, you will receive an acknowledgement letter.

What to expect after the OIG receives a complaint?

The OIG conducts a preliminary assessment of the complaint to determine how it should proceed. Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much pertinent

  • Open a preliminary investigation to determine whether the case should be a criminal matter
  • Refer the complaint to another state or federal agency because the OIG lacks jurisdiction to address the complaint;
  • Refer the matter to the appropriate District agency and request a response; or
  • Close out a complaint that does not provide a sufficient basis to initiate and investigation and/or sufficient contact information to follow-up with the complainant to obtain sufficient information to evaluate the complaint.

We cannot provide information regarding what action(s) have been taken on any allegation reported to our office.

District regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records even to the individual submitting the allegation(s).

Unless you are contacted directly by one of our investigators, there will be no communication from our office, outside of correspondence which may advise you that your matter has been referred to another entity if your submitted allegations do not fall under the jurisdiction or cognizance of the DC Office of the Inspector General.

If I make a complaint about fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement occurring at a District agency, why would the OIG send my complaint to the agency that I’m referring for investigation?

Due to the high volume of complaints and/or the need for background information, for some matters, it is more cost-effective for the agency to initially investigate the complaint. However, we typically ask for a response from the agency and, depending on the response, the OIG may initiate an investigation or request additional agency action.

What authority does the OIG have with respect to complaints of retaliation by a supervisor?

District of Columbia personnel regulations and the OIG’s enabling statute prohibits retaliation against a person with a good-faith basis for bring information to or filing a complaint with the OIG. Accordingly, if you feel that you are being retaliated against for bringing forth information, you should contact the OIG. While the law does not give the OIG any enforcement authority, the OIG can, and has informed agency directors of the prohibition and this has typically resulted in a cessation of the alleged conduct.

How can I learn the status of my complaint?

The OIG does not provide status reports. To obtain information about the OIG’s activities, you must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the OIG. In accordance with FOIA, we will evaluate your request to determine whether the OIG can provide you with any documents that are responsive to the request.

Can I make an anonymous complaint or request confidentiality?

Yes, when reporting fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement to the OIG, at the time you file your complaint or provide information, you must tell the OIG that seek confidentiality or that you wish to remain anonymous. However, you are encouraged to identify yourself so that we may follow-up on your call, if necessary, and obtain additional information that will aid us in our investigation. If you give your name, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent allowed by law.

Can the OIG give a District employee whistleblower protection?

No, the OIG cannot give whistleblower protection. In order to preserve your rights and to obtain a legal determination that you are a whistleblower who has been harmed as the result of a prohibited personnel practice, you must follow the mandates of the D.C. Code, which require that you seek relief and damages through a civil action filed in D.C. Superior Court, or pursue any administrative remedy through the District of Columbia Office of Employee Appeals or arbitration. The OIG has no statutory authority to adjudicate a claim seeking to invoke whistleblower protections.

Pursuant to any claim that you file, if you provided information to the OIG, the OIG will be able to confirm the date and nature of the disclosure made to this Office, and the results of an investigation conducted, if any, in accordance with the requisite legal or administrative proceeding, or arbitration.

While one can avail himself or herself of the process to obtain Whistleblower Protection, the OIG also strongly encourages individuals to always file complaints with the OIG, because as indicated above, the OIG can take immediate action to attempt to curtail or stop the retaliatory conduct.

Can I file a discrimination complaint with the OIG?

No, the OIG lacks jurisdiction to investigate employment discrimination complaints. The DC Office of Human Rights has jurisdiction to investigate employment discrimination complaints.