Is the OIG an independent agency?
Although our office cooperates with the county government and other agencies whenever it is appropriate, the charter requires that the OIG function as an independent body to assure that we carry out our responsibilities free from any external interference or influence.
What is the jurisdiction of the OIG?
The OIG’s authority is provided in Broward County Charter Section 10.01. It extends over all elected and appointed county officials and employees, all elected and appointed officials and employees of the 31 municipalities located in the county, and all entities and persons who provide goods and services to the county and the municipalities.
What is the function of the OIG?
Section 10.01 of the charter empowers the OIG to investigate misconduct and gross mismanagement within the government of Broward County and all of its municipalities. This authority extends to all elected and appointed officials, employees and all providers of goods and services to the county and the municipalities. The OIG is also empowered to issue reports, including recommendations, and to require officials to provide reports regarding the implementation of those recommendations.
When does the OIG begin an investigation?
On his own initiative, or based on a signed complaint, the Inspector General shall commence an investigation upon a finding of good cause that any county or municipal official, employee, or provider has engaged in misconduct or gross mismanagement.
What constitutes misconduct?
Section 10.01(A)(2) of the Charter of Broward County defines misconduct as “any violation of the state or federal constitution, any state or federal statute or code, any county or municipal ordinance or code; or conduct involving fraud, corruption, or abuse."
What constitutes gross mismanagement?
Section 10.01(A)(3) of the Charter of Broward County defines gross mismanagement as “the material waste or significant mismanagement of public resources.”
How does the OIG conduct an investigation?
As part of any investigation, the Inspector General shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, require the production of documents and records, and audit any program, contract, and the operations of any division of the county, its municipalities and any providers. All officials, employees, and providers of the county and the municipalities are required by law to fully cooperate with OIG investigations. The OIG also works in conjunction with the County Auditor, law enforcement agencies, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
How does the OIG report investigation findings?
The OIG issues final reports, including recommendations, of investigations involving allegations of gross mismanagement and misconduct, unless it is determined that a report of misconduct would not help the county or any municipality prevent similar misconduct or might jeopardize a pending criminal investigation. The Inspector General may also follow up on any recommendations he makes to determine whether such recommendations have been implemented. OIG final reports are provided to the county or municipality and to the officials, employees, and providers implicated in the report. Copies of the final reports are also posted on the OIG’s website.
How do I report misconduct and mismanagement to the OIG?
You may report this information to the OIG in a variety of ways. First, you may report any concerns you may have to us by mail, fax, phone, or secure email at InspectorGeneral@Broward.org. Second, you may file a formal complaint—although you are not required to do so—by following the process described in the File a Complaint section of this website.Third, you may stop by our office at One North University Drive, Suite 111, Plantation, FL 33324 and provide your information directly to us. Finally, you may call our Tips Hotline at (954) 357-TIPS.
Is an OIG investigation confidential?
All active OIG investigations are confidential and exempt from disclosure. After that time, pursuant to Florida’s public records laws, they are open to inspection by members of the public.
Will the information I provide to the OIG be considered confidential?
Under certain circumstances, the OIG may be able to provide you with confidentiality. In addition, there are provisions under Florida law that protect employees from retaliation under certain circumstances.
Can I bring an attorney with me to an OIG interview?
As an interviewee, we permit you to be accompanied by an attorney who is representing you.
Does the OIG investigate information that is provided anonymously?
Yes, all reports of misconduct and gross mismanagement are reviewed and may provide the basis upon which to open an investigation. However, anonymous reports are harder to investigate because the OIG is limited to the information provided and may lack the ability to corroborate details of the report, so that it may be more difficult to establish the good cause necessary to commence an investigation.
Does the OIG investigate all reports of misconduct and mismanagement?
Although all reports of misconduct and mismanagement are reviewed, some may be referred to appropriate federal, county or municipal government officials or other agencies for resolution. In addition, Section 10.01(C)(1) of the charter directs the OIG to formally refer probable cause findings at the conclusion of an OIG investigation to the appropriate civil, criminal, or administrative agencies charged with enforcement related to the alleged misconduct.
Does the OIG investigate ethics violations?
The OIG is responsible for investigating violations of the ethics codes that govern the conduct of county and municipal officials, employees, and providers. If, at the conclusion of an investigation, the OIG determines that probable cause exists to believe that ethics violations occurred, the Inspector General shall bring a complaint before a hearing officer for alleged violations of the Broward Code of Ethics for Elected Officials, refer the matter to the Florida Commission on Ethics, refer the matter to the municipality, or do some combiantion of these actions. At the conclusion of a hearing, the hearing officer is authorized to issue a final order detailing findings of fact and conclusions of law. The hearing officer may impose sanctions to the accused including a monetary fine between $250 and $5,000 per violation on the Broward Ethics Code, the payment of restitution, and the disgorgement of funds found to have been wrongfully received. The hearing officer may also issue a public reprimand or censure.
Does the OIG provide advisory ethics opinions?
No. Section 1-19(c)(7) of the Broward County Code of Ordinances provides that any elected official may request an advisory opinion about how the Broward County Elected Official Code of Ethics applies to his or her own situation.Requests for opinions by County Commissioners shall be made to the County Attorney or designee, and requests from municipal elected officials shall be made to the municipality’s attorney or designee.
Does the OIG investigate election campaign practices?
The OIG investigates election campaign practices only if the reported conduct would be a violation of law by a county or municipal elected official or employee. However, if the OIG receives a complaint against a candidate for elected office within 60 days of an election, it must hold the matter in abeyance until after the election, according to Section 10.01(B)(5).
Does the OIG provide oversight of county and municipal contracts?
The OIG conducts contract and procurement oversight with the goal of preventing material waste and significant mismanagement before taxpayer dollars are expended. These contract oversight activities may form the basis for investigations if there is good cause to believe any official, employee, or provider has engaged in misconduct or gross mismanagement.
How can I learn more about the OIG’s activities?
Explore the OIG website to read our final reports of investigation, review memoranda, and press releases about our activities. You may also read our annual reports, which are also posted on the website. Finally, we invite you to follow us on twitter@BrowardIG.