The Office of Inspector General investigates complaints or allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by employees or contractors that involve or give rise to fraud, waste or abuse within the programs or operations of the FCC.
Allegations are received primarily from FCC employees and licensees. However, members of Congress, other agencies, citizens, contractors and public interest groups also refer matters to the OIG for investigation. Allegations of suspected wrongdoing are also received from FCC managers and the OIG audit program.
- Analysis of Complaint/Allegation
- Investigative Process
- OIG Access to Documents and Individuals
- Employee Rights and Warnings
- Investigative Report
- Report Wrongdoing
Analysis of Complaint/Allegation
- Indications and plausibility of allegations that a violation of a statute or regulation under OIG jurisdiction has been committed;
- Indications that the matter may significantly affect public health and safety;
- the nature and seriousness of the alleged activity;
- the effect of the alleged illegal or improper activity on FCC programs and operations;
- the level of the position of individuals against whom the allegations are made (wrongdoing by high-ranking agency officials is more damaging);
- the deterrent effect knowledge of the investigation may have on others who may consider committing similar illegal or improper acts; and
- other considerations that the IG deems appropriate.
OIG Access to Documents and Individuals
Section 6 of the Inspector General Act gives the IG authority to obtain the following documents from the agency: all records, reports, audits, reviews, recommendations, and other materials that relate to FCC programs and operations.
Government employees mainly participate in OIG investigations by providing information to investigators and participating in interviews.
Employee Rights and Warnings
- Miranda warnings are given when an individual is being interviewed concerning his or her own potentially criminal misconduct and is taken into custody or deprived of freedom in a significant way. Under this warning, one is advised that pursuant to the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, anything said may be used against him or her, and that he or she is entitled to remain silent or otherwise not incriminate himself or herself, and to the assistance of an attorney.
- Kalkines warnings are given when the possibility of criminal prosecution has been removed, usually by a declination to prosecute by the DOJ, and the employee is required to answer questions relating to the performance of his or her official duties or be subject to disciplinary action.
- Garrity warnings are given when an individual is requested to give information on a voluntary basis in connection with his or her own administrative misconduct, and the answers might also be used in a future criminal proceeding. The individual is apprised of his or her right to remain silent if the answers may tend to incriminate him or her; that anything said may be used against him or her in either a criminal or administrative proceeding; and he or she cannot be disciplined for remaining silent.
- Weingarten warnings are given to a bargaining unit employee, who is the subject of an investigation. The employee is notified that he or she is entitled to union representation during interviews that may result in disciplinary action against such employee. An employee must request such union representation before the right becomes operational.
What is the Role of the FCC Employee in OIG Investigations?
- A brief, accurate statement of the facts believed to provide evidence of wrongdoing;
- names, addresses, and office locations of pertinent individuals and organizations;
- dates when the suspected wrongdoing took place or is expected to occur;
- how you became aware of the information;
- any pertinent documents within your possession; and
- names, addresses, office locations, and telephone numbers of others (including licensees) who may have information about the suspected wrongdoing.