1) What is the function of the Office of the State Inspector General?
The function of the OIG is to investigate allegations of fraud, waste, abuse and corruption within the Executive Branch of Georgia State government. The Office of Inspector General is an independent, objective investigatory agency. It does not represent any party or agency in an investigation and does not investigate on "behalf" of any individual or agency. OIG conducts investigations without regard to partisan politics allegiances, status, or influence. If an individual is seeking legal representation, s/he should consult an attorney.
2) When should I contact the Office of Inspector General?
You should contact the Office of Inspector General whenever you have reason to suspect fraud, waste, abuse and corruption within the Executive Branch of state government.
3) How do I file a complaint?
A complaint may be filed with this office in writing, preferably on one of our complaint forms, or orally. You may file a complaint by:
(1) submitting the online complaint form found on this website;
(2) calling our office's toll free hotline at 866-435-7644 (help oig);
(3) mailing a completed complaint form to Office of the State Inspector General,2 M.L.King Jr. Dr., SW, Suite 1102 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334;
(4) faxing a completed complaint form to 404-657-9716; or
(5) visiting the office at the address above to fill out a complaint form.
4) Where can I obtain a complaint form?
Complaint forms can be obtained in three ways. You may contact our office, and we will mail or fax a complaint form to you. Also, a complaint form may be downloaded from this web site.
5) Can I file a complaint without fear of losing my job?
Under certain circumstances, the Office of Inspector General may be able to keep your identity confidential. In addition, Georgia law provides whistle-blower protection for state employees who report wrongdoing. See OCGA 45-1-4(a) (2) (c). While the Office of Inspector General will not affirmatively publish names and other information, there is a possibility that the information could become public after the close of the investigation.
6) Does the Office of Inspector General accept anonymous complaints?
Yes. However, you are encouraged to identify yourself so that we may follow-up with you, if necessary, to obtain additional information that would aid in our investigation.
7) How long does it take to complete an investigation?
We often receive inquires about how long an investigation will last. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to predict the length of an investigation. The time period is determined by the nature of the allegations, the number of interviews that need to be completed, the number of investigations already opened in the office, whether the case is undergoing a criminal investigation by law enforcement, and the priority level of the case.
8) Will someone contact me from the Office of Inspector General regarding my complaint?
Generally, we will contact you if we need additional information or clarification or to let you know that we will conduct a preliminary inquiry. A preliminary inquiry does not necessarily mean that an investigation will be opened. If we are unable to assist in the resolution of your concerns, we will notify you by letter of the disposition of your complaint. If appropriate, we may refer your concerns to another agency and advise you as such.
9) What happens after I file my complaint?
If the complaint alleges fraud, waste, abuse or corruption in the Executive Branch, your complaint may be assigned to an investigator for review. The assignment process may be delayed due to the number of open complaints in the office. Once assigned, the investigator will take the appropriate steps to investigate the allegations.
10) Are complaints kept confidential?
All records pertaining to an open investigation are considered confidential and therefore not subject to public release. However, once an investigation is closed, some records may be subject to review pursuant to Georgia's public records laws. Generally, the complaint form is a public record once an investigation is closed.
11) What is the Office of Inspector General's jurisdiction?
The Office of Inspector General has jurisdiction over all state agencies and state employees within the Executive Branch of government including the Governor's office. Specifically excluded from the office's jurisdiction is the General Assembly and any Court.
12) What types of complaints does the Office of Inspector General investigate?
The Office of Inspector General investigates allegations of fraud, waste, abuse and corruption including, for example, ghost payrolling, abuse of state property, procurement fraud, serious or systematic abuse of time and travel regulations, improper use of state funds, conflicts of interests, fraud/theft in office ( i.e. full time pay for work not performed), among others. This list is not exhaustive.
13) What type of complaints does the Office of Inspector General decline?
We are not the appropriate forum for complaints related to city or municipal officials, county officials, federal officials or federal or state judges. We decline to investigate complaints where an employee is merely dissatisfied with a supervisor or work assignment. We also decline to investigate anything that has been fully adjudicated (administratively or in a court) or is pending before an administrative agency or pending in civil or criminal court. Finally, we are not equipped to investigate prisoner complaints that have been adjudicated through administrative and criminal review channels.
14) What powers are available to the Office of Inspector General?
Pursuant to our Executive Order, the Office of Inspector General has the authority to enter upon the premises of any state agency at any time without prior announcement, to inspect the premises or to investigate any complaint. The Office of Inspector General also has the authority to question any state employee serving in, and any other person transacting business with, the state agency. In addition, the Office of Inspector General has the authority to inspect and copy any books, records, or papers in the possession of the state agency, except where otherwise prohibited by law.
15) How large is the Office of Inspector General?
The Office of Inspector General is a relatively small investigative agency. Currently, the office is supported by a dedicated full-time staff of four people.
16) Is the Office of Inspector General a Law Enforcement Agency?
No. The Office of Inspector General is not a law enforcement organization (e.g., we do not have power of arrest). However, any unlawful or criminal conduct discovered during the course of an investigation will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement entity.
17) Does the Office of Inspector General have subpoena power?
No, although, most often, the Office of Inspector General is able to acquire the same information and/or obtain the same documentation using mechanisms already available to us through our Executive Order, contract language and other legally binding agreements.
18) When are Reports of Investigations made available to the public?
A report of an investigation is available to the public at the conclusion of the investigation by the Office of Inspector General.
19) How do I obtain a copy of a report of investigation?
You may obtain a copy of any report of investigation by contacting our office. You may also download copies of some reports from our web page. If you do not see a report on our web page, please contact our office for assistance.
20) What happens if the Office of Inspector General does not have jurisdiction over a matter?
You will receive written notification of that fact. Whenever possible, we will refer you to the appropriate agency or organization that can provide assistance.