The OIG Investigations program is responsible for the investigation of allegations of misconduct and gross mismanagement by Broward and municipal elected officials, employees and providers. Misconduct is defined 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.” Gross mismanagement is defined as “the material waste or significant mismanagement of public resources.”
The OIG’s authority extends over all elected and appointed county officials and employees, all elected and appointed officials and employees of the county’s 31 municipalities, and all entities and persons who provide goods or services to the county or any of the municipalities. The OIG’s powers and authority are codified in Article X, Section 10.01, of the Broward County Charter. In accordance with the charter, the OIG “shall commence an investigation if good cause exists that any Official, Employee, or Provider has engaged in misconduct or gross mismanagement.” The Inspector General has the authority to decide whether good cause exists “on his or her own initiative or based on a signed, verified complaint. …” As part of any OIG investigation, “the Inspector General shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and require (through subpoena or otherwise) the production of documents and records.” OIG subpoenas are enforceable by the courts.
The Investigations program is staffed with professional, experienced individuals with law enforcement and regulatory backgrounds and a variety of special skills. Our team holds certifications as fraud examiners, inspector general investigators, public accountants, public procurement officers, and criminal justice information operators. OIG Special Agents are responsible for reviewing and corroborating information from hundreds of tips and complaints. They must also:
- conduct thorough, well documented reviews and investigations;
- perform extensive background checks;
- carry out detailed ethics compliance reviews;
- engage in outreach; and
- monitor assigned municipalities in order to become familiar with their processes and issues.
Although OIG investigations vary in size and complexity, most require interviews of witnesses and implicated parties, review of numerous documents, analysis of financial records and the preparation of detailed reports summarizing investigative findings. If an investigation establishes misconduct or gross mismanagement, the OIG will issue a report detailing its findings and making recommendations to eliminate the problems. If an investigation establishes probable cause to believe misconduct has occurred, the Inspector General will refer the matter to the appropriate agency.
To find issued OIG reports, click here.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, via the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has formally acknowledged that the OIG performs criminal justice functions which meet the criteria of a “criminal justice agency.” As a designated criminal justice agency, the OIG is able to access and acquire information through various interstate and intrastate information systems, which has enhanced our investigative function. The OIG has further enhanced its investigative function though participation in the Broward County Public Corruption Task Force. This task force is comprised of federal, state and local investigators and prosecutors responsible for the identification, investigation and prosecution of criminal public corruption cases.
OIG investigations have shined a light on instances of misconduct and gross mismanagement that have resulted in changes in personnel, polices, procedures and internal controls at both the county and municipal level. As part of our reporting process, we have made recommendations and required status reports from government agencies, which have promoted and ensured efficiency and accountability in the use of public funds. Furthermore, the issuance of OIG reports has provided greater transparency for the residents of Broward County.
For the OIG’s Investigations program to continue to be fully effective and to fulfill its mission, it needs residents, employees and vendors to report suspected misconduct and gross mismanagement. To provide information to the OIG, click here.