Office of the Inspector General

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I have information about waste, fraud and abuse relating to District government operations and/or District employees. How should I report this information to the OIG?

You have several options

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

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

If you send an email complaint, you will receive and email acknowledgement.  If you write a letter, you will receive a written acknowledgement.

What happens after the OIG receives a complaint?

The OIG conducts a preliminary assessment of the complaint to determine how it should proceed:

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

If I make a complaint about waste, fraud, and /or abuse occurring at a District agency, why would the OIG send my complaint to the District agency that I am 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 prohibit retaliation against a person with a good-faith basis for bringing information to or filing a complaint with the OIG.  Accordingly, if you feel that you are being or have been retaliated against for bringing forth such 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?

Yes, you may file an anonymous complaint with the OIG.

Can I request confidentiality when making a complaint or providing information to the OIG?

Yes. At the time you file your complaint or provide information, you must tell the OIG that you seek confidentiality, that is, you wish to remain anonymous.

Are there any circumstances in which the OIG will disclose my name even though I have requested confidentiality, that is, I requested to remain anonymous?

 Yes. While the OIG strives not to make such disclosures, by statute the Inspector General is authorized to make a disclosure if the Inspector General determines that such disclosure is unavoidable or necessary to further the inquiry.

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.