Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can make a report to the OIG?
2. How does a person make a report to the OIG?
3. Does a person have to give a name?
4. When does the Hotline operate?
5. What should be reported to OIG?
6. What should not be reported to the OIG?
7. What information should a person include in a report to OIG?
8. What does the OIG do when it receives a report?
9. What is an audit and how does it differ from an investigation?

1. Who can make a report to the OIG?

Anyone, including Metro employees, contractors, customers or other members of the public, can make a report to the OIG. We encourage and rely on people who are in a position to become aware of facts reflecting wrongdoing, fraud, waste, abuse, and misconduct to report to us in order to carry out our mission.

The only requirement is that you have a good-faith basis for your report or complaint and that you do not make frivolous allegations or allegations you know to be false or have reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the allegations. Even if your complaint turns out not to be valid, so long as you had a reasonable basis to believe that wrongdoing was occurring (even if you do not know exactly what law, regulation or policy was violated), you should report the matter to the OIG.

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2. How does a person make a report to the OIG?

You can report via the OIG Hotline by calling 202-962-2400 or via email. You may send a letter or other written message through the U.S. mail, Metro inter-office mail or via facsimile. Individuals who contact the OIG Hotline via email cannot be assured of confidentiality due to the nature of the electronic mail system. If you want to remain anonymous, we suggest using another method.

Metro Office of Inspector General
Attn: OIG Hotline
600 5th Street, 3A
Washington, DC 20001

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3. Does a person have to give a name?

No, you may report anonymously if you desire. However, we strongly prefer that you share your name and contact information with us because this allows us to follow up on your complaint in a more effective and efficient manner.

You may direct that OIG keep your identity confidential. We will respect such requests and not reveal your identity unless you authorize us to do so. However, in rare cases, revealing the identity of a confidential source is unavoidable in the course of an investigation, but we will make every effort to avoid this circumstance.

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4. When does the Hotline operate?

The OIG Hotline is generally answered by OIG Investigations personnel between 8 am and 5 pm. The person will take your report and ask you follow-up questions if necessary. At all other times, you may leave a message and someone from OIG Investigations will call you back if you leave contact information. Otherwise, OIG will follow up, to the extent possible, from the information you leave in your message.

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5. What should be reported to OIG?

The following is a non-exclusive list of the type of matters that should be reported to the OIG:

Possible criminal violations, including but not limited to:

  • theft or embezzlement of Metro property, equipment or funds;
  • false statements, such as on official records like attendance records and records of account or inventories;
  • false claims for such things as travel or expense reimbursement, overtime or compensatory time;
  • false claims by a contractor for payment for work not performed or performed in a substandard manner;
  • misuse of purchase cards amounting to fraud or theft;
  • receipt, offer or giving of illegal gratuities;
  • bribery or solicitation of bribes;
  • fraud or scheme to defraud;
  • kickbacks by a contractor to a Metro employee; and
  • possession or distribution of child pornography.

Violation of a Metro Standard of Conduct (P/I 7.10), including but not limited to:

  • conflict of interest through outside employment, a financial interest in or transaction with a party with an actual or prospective business relationship with Metro or use of inside information;
  • improper use of official position to gain a personal benefit;
  • acceptance of improper gratuities from outside parties;
  • gross mismanagement;
  • gross waste of Metro resources;
  • contract and procurement irregularities (including contract fraud);
  • violation of other work and conduct rules and Metro Policies and Procedures;
  • serious or repeated misuse of purchase cards; and
  • reprisal for reporting to or cooperating with the OIG.

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6.  What should not be reported to the OIG?

Generally, matters within the broad categories of management issues and administrative offenses should not be reported to OIG and OIG will normally refer them to a management official if they are reported.  Such matters should be reported to and addressed by supervisory officials or others.  Examples of such matters include but are not limited to:

  • matters for which there are other established procedures for seeking redress, such as civil rights complaints, violence in the workplace, union grievances, and challenges to personnel actions (other than those taken in reprisal for dealings with the OIG);
  • general complaints about employee or office morale;
  • individual attendance issues, such as tardiness, misuse of leave or absence without leave (but not including misrepresenting or falsifying leave and attendance records);
  • insubordination;
  • unauthorized use of alcohol or reporting for duty in an intoxicated or impaired state; and
  • customer complaints about service. Instead, please contact customer service.

If you are in doubt about whether to report something to the OIG, resolve that doubt in favor of making a report to OIG.  Also, you may report any matter to the OIG when:

  • you fear reprisal;
  • you have reported the matter to a supervisor or manager but believe that the matter has not been adequately resolved or addressed;
  • there is a reasonable basis to believe that the procedure used to address the matter is flawed or inadequate or
  • you have another reason to do so.

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7. What information should a person include in a report to OIG?

Please provide as many specific details as you can: who, what, when, where, how, and why. For example, if the complaint involves an alleged false claim for overtime pay, provide the date(s) when the employee claimed overtime but did not actually work overtime and your basis for making the allegation (e.g. personal observation, reports by others or review of documentation).

Provide as much of the following information as you can, including:

  • What happened? What are the facts about the conduct or incident?
  • Who is the perpetrator of the wrongdoing or who was involved with the wrongdoing?
  • Where did the conduct or incident occur?
  • When did the conduct or incident occur?  
  • Is the conduct or incident ongoing?
  • How did it occur?
  • Why did it occur?
  • How did you become aware of the conduct or incident?
  • Who else has knowledge of the matter?
  • Is there any documentation of the matter and, if so, what is it and where can we find it?
  • What rule, law or regulation was violated (if you know)?
  • Have you or someone else reported the matter to anyone else, and if so, what happened?
  • Where and when can we contact you for additional information?

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8.  What does the OIG do when it receives a report?

OIG Investigations personnel review the report and determine if it warrants a preliminary investigation, full investigation, referral to management or no action.  In some cases, the information reflects a systemic problem such as a lack of internal controls over a process or function, in which case the matter may be referred to OIG Audit. 

Where an investigation is warranted, OIG investigators review documents and interview witnesses to determine the facts. If the facts evidence a criminal violation, the matter will be referred to a federal or state prosecutor for action. Otherwise or after a criminal prosecution, OIG refers the evidence to Metro management for civil or administrative action.

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9. What is an audit and how does it differ from an investigation?

An audit is a review and analysis of processes, procedures, systems, activities or financial statements to report weaknesses in internal controls and other adverse conditions which constitute a risk to the integrity of Metro operations and its resources. Audits result in audit reports, which describe the auditors' findings and recommend systemic changes for management officials to consider and correct. Management is asked to provide a corrective action plan. Audits are done in accordance with Government Auditing Standards (commonly known as the "Yellow Book"). OIG posts most of its audit reports on this website.

An investigation is an inquiry to determine the facts of an allegation or suspicion of wrongdoing or misconduct by individuals or groups of individuals. An investigation may also find issues with systems or processes as a by-product of looking into the allegation. An investigation may result in a report to a prosecutor or to management setting out the facts found, the evidence of the facts, and in some cases, recommendations for improvements to prevent the same type of wrongdoing in the future.

The difference between an audit and an investigation is that audits focus on the integrity of systems and processes while investigations focus on allegations of wrongdoing by individuals. An audit may uncover evidence of wrongdoing and suspected criminal or other wrongful conduct, in which case the auditors will turn the matter over to OIG Investigations for follow-up. Conversely, investigators may uncover systemic problems and issues, in which case they may turn the matter over to OIG Audit.

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