We hope this information will help address any questions or concerns you may have if you or someone in your office is involved in an investigation. Our goal is to provide information that will help you make a positive impact in your area.
What Prompts an Investigation?
An investigation is normally initiated when a complaint or allegation is received by letter, telephone (hotline), or on the web-based complaint form. Investigative matters are sometimes reported to the OIG by other government agencies such as the Chief Inspector General’s office or the Attorney General’s office.
What is the Process?
Based on the severity of the allegation, an investigation may be initiated by the Office of Inspector General or be forwarded to management as a referral for review and action. In either case, complaints are documented, numbered, and maintained on file. Investigative activity is documented, including witness contacts, and a formal report is issued. A completed investigation will result in one or more of the following conclusions: inconclusive, not sustained, sustained, exonerated, or policy failure. As required by Section 20.055, Florida Statutes, information will be provided to law enforcement when there might be a violation of criminal law.
What happens if a determination of sustained is reached?
When an investigation is categorized as sustained, it is referred to management for corrective action. Managers confer with Human Resources staff, senior management, and the Office of General Counsel to determine the appropriate level of corrective action to be taken. Once this action is finalized, managers notify the OIG of the outcome.
What are my responsibilities as a Complainant?
As a Complainant, you can prepare for our initial meeting and assist in expediting the review of your complaint by providing the OIG with witness names, evidence that you possess, or the location of relevant evidence, i.e.: email, video, and document files. Your testimony should be truthful and free of any embellishments to ensure that the facts are presented accurately. You will be directed by the OIG to refrain from discussing your complaint with co-workers or potential witnesses until your complaint has been resolved. This ensures unbiased testimony from all parties.
What are my responsibilities as a Manager?
As a Manager, you may be briefed on an allegation that is under investigation. Before informing others of the known allegation, contact the assigned investigator first; senior management may have already been informed. If an employee under your supervision is scheduled for an interview as a witness, he or she must cooperate in accordance with policy. If an employee under your supervision is scheduled for an interview as a subject, he or she must also cooperate in accordance with policy. When the employee appears at the designated place and time, the investigator will provide more information.
What are my responsibilities as a Witness?
As a Witness, you may be asked questions about another person or situation. While it may be uncomfortable answering, the investigator needs the most accurate information possible. The information that you provide can influence the outcome of the case. Being cooperative and truthful and keeping the contents of the discussion confidential will assist the investigative process.
What are my responsibilities as a Subject?
The OIG’s objective is to determine if there is sufficient evidence to sustain or not sustain an allegation. Being cooperative and truthful and keeping the contents of the discussion confidential will assist the investigative process. The investigator’s goal is to capture all relevant information and provide managers with a report stating the facts. Subjects may receive a copy of the final report at no cost.
What is an audit?
Internal audits are designed to give management an independent, objective assessment of department programs, activities, or functions. An audit may evaluate whether: Desired results and objectives are achieved efficiently and effectively; Operations comply with laws, policies, procedures, and regulations; Financial and operating information is accurate, complete, and reliable; and/or Assets are adequately safeguarded against waste, loss, and abuse.
Can I dispute audit findings and recommendations?
Yes. After the report is issued for response, the manager of the program or operational unit has, by statute, 20 working days to respond in writing to any issues and recommendations. A response that disagrees with a finding should state: “We do not concur” and explain the reason for the disagreement. However, we strive to reach consensus and to this end, we meet with management and staff during the course of the audit to discuss potential issues and recommendations. We also hold an exit conference with management and may modify the draft report based on information and input provided.
What is the difference between OIG internal audit and external auditors?
Internal audit is integral to the department. We continually monitor and assess risks to achieving the department’s mission and operational objectives. One of our primary goals is to work with management and staff to improve operations and resolve any issues, internally. External review entities, such as the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), are independent of the department. Internal audit helps facilitate external reviews by serving as the liaison between the department and the reviewing entity.
Can I request an audit?
We rely on management and staff to help us identify areas that would benefit from an internal audit. Management often requests an audit as part of the annual risk assessment. DBPR’s dynamic environment may also prompt a request for OIG assistance after the Secretary has approved the annual audit plan. Some issues may require a formal audit. However, we also conduct consulting engagements and provide ad hoc advisory/technical assistance services. For example, if you have recently assumed new or additional supervisory responsibilities, an audit or management review can help assess whether internal controls in your area are adequate and operating as intended. An audit or management review can assess the effectiveness of controls when new systems or procedures are implemented. Department managers and staff should contact the Director of Auditing or Inspector General to discuss how internal audit can best serve their divisions.
Can I request that an audit be postponed due to other work priorities?
We will schedule an entrance conference with management to discuss logistics for conducting the audit prior to our beginning work. OIG staff are respectful of your time and seek to minimize disruptions to on-going operations. It may be possible to postpone work on a part of the audit or otherwise adjust our audit schedule.
Can I take corrective action before a follow-up review is conducted?
We encourage management to take corrective action as soon as possible—even before the audit is concluded. This corrective action will be noted in the final audit report. State law and internal auditing standards require that we monitor and provide periodic reports to the Secretary on the status of action taken in response to internal audit reports.