Office of Investigations

Michael T. Ryan
Assistant Inspector General for Investigations

Mission

The Office of Investigations has broad jurisdiction over criminal, civil, and administrative investigations of alleged violations of Federal laws, regulations, and policies relating to Department/BBG programs and operations.  These issues  include procurement fraud, grant fraud, false claims, public corruption, conflicts of interest, trafficking in persons, and employee misconduct or serious wrongdoing (including misuse or theft of Department/BBG property or services; payment or solicitation of bribes, illegal gratuities, or kickbacks; and violations of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, the Code of Federal Regulations, or other governing rules or standards). Generally, investigations are conducted to resolve specific allegations, complaints, or other information concerning possible violations of law, regulation, or policy. In contrast, an OIG audit, evaluation, or inspection is conducted to examine organizational program performance or financial management matters, typically of a systemic nature.

Administrative violations are referred to the Department's Bureau of Human Resources and to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, when appropriate, for independent adjudication and action. Individuals and employees suspected of violating Federal criminal or civil statutes are referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution. The office also maintains the OIG Hotline, a confidential channel for complaints about violations of law or regulation, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.

OIG HOTLINE

OIG’s Office of Investigations consists of trained, credentialed, and sworn special agents—these criminal investigators are Federal law enforcement officers .  Investigations conducted by OIG special agents usually are the result of allegations received from Department or BBG management or employees, other OIG offices, Inspectors General of other agencies, the Congress, or the public. As necessary, the assistance of OIG auditors, inspectors, and other experts may be enlisted in investigative operations. In addition, both domestically and internationally, our Office of Investigations works closely with our Federal, State, local, and international law enforcement partners and prosecutors.

OIG FRAUD INDICATORS

Worldwide Investigations, World-Class Law Enforcement

 

OIG Overview video - INV (text)

I’m Michael Ryan, the Assistant IG for Investigations. When we learn of allegations of criminal, civil, or administrative misconduct related to Department programs or operations, OIG’s Office of Investigations examines all available, relevant facts and information to determine whether or not there may be a violation of law or regulation. When OIG completes its investigation, administrative violations are referred to the Department's Bureau of Human Resources and to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, when appropriate, for independent adjudication and action. Individuals, including contractors and employees, suspected of violating Federal statutes may be referred to the Department of Justice for appropriate civil or criminal action.

OIG Special Agents conduct investigations that are usually the result of allegations received from Department or BBG management or employees, other components within OIG, Inspectors General of other agencies, Congress, or the public. As necessary, OIG may seek the assistance of OIG auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and other experts in investigative operations.

The office also maintains the OIG Hotline for complaints about violations of law or regulation, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. Department employees are automatically granted confidentiality on any complaints made to OIG. However, if an individual chooses to remain confidential, it may limit our ability to ensure proper handling and disposition of the matter. Additionally, we will not disclose the identity of an employee without that employee’s consent, unless such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of an OIG investigation.

Last, I would like to remind all Department employees of their duty to report allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, or misconduct to OIG. In addition to the reporting requirements outlined in the Foreign Affairs Manual, as of December 2016, the head of a Department bureau, post, or other office is required to notify OIG of certain allegations no later than five business days after the date on which the head is made aware of these issues. These allegations include: waste, fraud, or abuse in any Department program or operation; criminal or serious misconduct on the part of a Department employee at the FS-1, GS-15, or GM-15 level, or higher; criminal misconduct on the part of a Department employee; and serious, noncriminal misconduct on the part of any Department employee who is authorized to carry a weapon, make arrests, or conduct searches, such that, if proved, would constitute perjury or material dishonesty, warrant suspension as discipline for a first offense, or result in the loss of law enforcement authority.