Dealing With A Federal Office Of Inspector General Investigation
Since 1976, various civilian agencies within the U.S. government have had an Office of Inspector General (OIG) established by acts of Congress. Each office includes an inspector general (IG) and other employees charged with identifying, auditing and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, embezzlement and mismanagement of any kind within their agency or department.
If you are under investigation by a federal OIG, you could be facing life-altering consequences, including criminal prosecution or termination. Protect your hard-earned benefits and your professional reputation. I am attorney Arthur A. Elkins Jr., and my law firm, DC Federal Employment Lawyer PLLC, can provide legal counsel during OIG investigations.
Federal OIGs employ forensic auditors, evaluators, administrative investigators and a variety of other specialists to look into a complaint against you. Balance the scales by hiring an experienced federal employment law attorney with 20 years of experience within U.S. government agencies. I was appointed by President Obama to head the OIG within the Environmental Protection Agency, a position I held for nearly nine years. I also have five years of experience serving as the general counsel to the OIG in another federal agency.
How The OIG Investigative Process Works
Allegations of wrongdoing may reach a federal agency’s OIG through multiple paths, including agency employees, members of Congress, citizens, public interest groups, or the OIG Hotline. Once a complaint/allegation is filed, the investigation will move through the following steps:
- Analysis of the complaint – The OIG will evaluate the seriousness of the complaint, how it impacts the agency’s operations, if public health and safety are endangered and the level of the position of the employee against whom the complaint is leveled.
- Investigation of the complaint – OIG staff gather evidence to prove or disprove the complaint/allegation.
- Warnings issued to employee – Before an interview is conducted, an employee will receive warnings that outline the person’s legal rights relative to the investigation and information about the potential consequences of the investigation.
- Employee interview – Employees under investigation by a federal OIG may have an attorney present at their interview to provide advice, although the attorney may not speak on their client’s behalf nor question or interrupt the interview.
- Resolution – If criminal wrongdoing is found during an OIG investigation, the case is referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. Administrative wrongdoing is handled within the agency itself. If the investigation clears an employee of wrongdoing, they are notified, as well.
My work in federal OIGs provides me with an insider’s view of the process. I can anticipate what IGs may want to know about your work behavior and how best to answer the investigator’s questions.
Access Trustworthy Counsel During Your OIG Investigation
My goal, as your employment law attorney, is to help you build a robust defense during an OIG investigation. To schedule an initial consultation, call my Washington, D.C., office at 202-204-2213 or send me an email. I work with civilian federal employees across the United States and around the globe.