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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

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What is the function of the OIG?
How was the OIG formed?
What is the jurisdiction of the OIG?
What are the powers available to the OIG?
Is the Office of the Inspector General a law enforcement agency?
Does the OIG have subpoena power?
What mandatory obligations are placed upon the Inspector General?
How do I report acts of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, and/or corruption to the OIG?
How do I file a complaint without losing my job as a County employee?
When does the OIG initiate an investigation?
Are OIG investigations confidential?
When are reports of investigations made available to the public?
When should I contact the OIG?
What happens if the OIG does not have jurisdiction over a matter?


What is the Function of the OIG?

The Office has the authority to make investigations of County affairs and the power to review past, present and proposed County and Public Health Trust programs, accounts, records, contracts, and transactions. In order to carry out this function, the Office has the power to subpoena witnesses and require the production of documents. Additionally, the Inspector General may report and/or recommend to the Board of County Commissioners whether a particular project or contract is or was necessary, and if so, whether the method used is or was financially and operationally efficient. Furthermore, the Inspector General is authorized to conduct random audits, inspections, and reviews on any County contract. Further, the Office is authorized to conduct reviews, audits, inspections, investigations or analysis relating to Departments, Offices, Boards, Activities, Programs and Agencies of the County and the Public Health Trust.

How was the OIG Formed?
The Office of the Inspector General was created by County ordinance and it empowered the OIG to investigate and review allegations of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners determined that the oversight of such a large and diverse government required the organization and administration of the OIG to be independent and autonomous, to assure that no interference or influence external to the Office adversely affects the independence and objectivity of the Inspector General. Under the amendment to the ordinance approved by the Board of County Commissioners in March 2005, the Inspector General serves a four-year term and future Inspectors General will be selected by a committee comprised of the State Attorney, Public Defender, Ethics Commission Chairperson, President of the Police Chiefs Association and the Regional Director for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

What is the Jurisdiction of the OIG?
The Miami-Dade County OIG’s jurisdiction encompasses all county departments, agencies, instrumentalities, and the programs thereunder. This jurisdiction extends to all county employees, public officials, and elected officials. The OIG also has jurisdiction over vendors and contractors doing business with the County. In essence, the OIG is the watchdog over the County’s money.

What are the Powers Available to the OIG?
According to the OIG’s enabling legislation, the Office shall have the power to require reports from the Mayor, County Commissioners, Manager, county agencies, instrumentalities, and county officers and employees and the Public Health Trust and its officers and employees regarding any matter within the jurisdiction of the Inspector General.

Conversely, the OIG may report to these same individuals its findings and recommendations arising from an investigation, audit, or review. Unless otherwise exempt from public disclosure, these findings and recommendations are generally released in a public report.

Is the Office of the Inspector General a Law Enforcement Agency?
No. The OIG is not a law enforcement agency. As such, our agents do not have the authority to arrest individuals. The OIG, however, is a criminal justice agency as determined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The OIG works in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office with respect to pursuing criminal investigations.

Does the OIG Have Subpoena Power?
Yes, although, most often, the OIG is able to acquire the same information and/or obtain the same documentation using mechanisms already available to us through our enabling ordinance, contract language, and other legally binding agreements. In rare cases when a subpoena is necessary, the OIG first notifies both the local United States Attorney’s Office and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to insure that the issuance of our subpoena will not interfere with an on-going criminal investigation. OIG subpoenas are enforceable through Miami-Dade circuit courts.

What Mandatory Obligations Are Placed Upon the Inspector General?
Where the Inspector General detects criminal misconduct, the IG shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies. When the Inspector General detects a violation of a matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission, he or she may file a complaint with the Ethics Commission or refer the matter to the Commission’s Advocate.

How Do I Report Acts of Fraud, Waste, Mismanagement, Abuse, and/or Corruption to the OIG?
You may report this information to us in one of four ways. You may report your concerns to us by mail or fax in a written complaint. You can stop by our office and meet with an OIG Special Agent and provide the information directly to us. You may call our hotline at (305) 579-2593 or access our secure email via this website to provide us with the information. In any event, you may remain anonymous; however, you are encouraged to identify yourself so that we may follow up on your call or email and obtain additional information that would help us in an our investigation.

If you give us your name, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent of the law. In addition, there are certain provisions under Florida law and the Code of Miami-Dade County that protect employees and independent contractors, engaged in business with the County, and who have entered into a contract with the County, from retaliation under certain circumstances. If you believe that making a report to the OIG will place you at risk of retaliation, you should inform the OIG of this fact.

How Do I File a Complaint Without Losing My Job as a County Employee?
Under certain circumstances, the OIG may be able to provide you with confidentiality. In addition, there are provisions under Florida law and the Code of Miami-Dade County that protect employees from retaliation under certain circumstances.

When Does the OIG Initiate an Investigation?
Investigations are only initiated upon the receipt of credible information alleging an act of fraud, waste, financial mismanagement or corruption within the OIG's jurisdiction. Only the Inspector General can authorize the initiation of an investigation.

Are OIG Investigations Confidential?
Ongoing audits and investigations are exempt from public disclosure. However, once an audit or investigation is finalized it becomes a public record, pursuant to Florida’s public records laws.

When are Reports of Investigations Made Available to the Public?
Once the OIG closes an investigation, the investigative report or audit is usually made available to the public by filing it with the Clerk of the Board and through its publication on the OIG’s website.

When Should I contact the OIG?
You should contact the OIG whenever you have reason to suspect fraud, waste, misconduct, or any other concerns within the County's government. Our telephone hotline is (305) 579-2593.

What Happens If the OIG Does Not Have Jurisdiction Over a Matter?
You will be notified of this fact, and whenever possible, we will refer you to the appropriate agency or organization that can provide assistance.



     
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      24-hour Fraud Hotline:  (305) 579-2593 (se habla español) OIG Phone: (305) 375-1946, Fax: (305) 579-2656