• Tue. Sep 20th, 2022

Office of Inspector General | Federal Trade Commission

ByChad J. Johnson

Mar 11, 2022

Pursuant to the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 (5 USC App.), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was established in 1989 as an independent, objective organization within the FTC. This Act was an amendment to the original Inspector General Act of 1978 (IG Act).

Under the IG Act, as amended, the OIG is responsible for conducting audits and investigations regarding FTC programs and operations. Audits are conducted for the purpose of detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse and promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness within the agency. OIG investigations seek facts related to allegations of wrongdoing by FTC employees and individuals or entities with contracts with or obtaining benefits from the agency.

FTC Office of Inspector General Organizational Chart

In the media

OIG audits and evaluations

The OIG conducts audits, evaluations and reviews of agency programs and activities. Typically, these activities involve a review and analysis of FTC offices or offices, programs, or operations. The auditor may analyze and verify agency records and obtain information through interviews, questionnaires and physical inspections. Audits are selected based on a number of factors, including (i) legal requirements; (ii) the materiality of the activity; (iii) comments from agency staff regarding perceived vulnerabilities or inefficiencies; and (iv) issues brought to our attention by persons outside the agency, including Congress, the media, and the public.

OIG conducts its audits and assessments in accordance with applicable standards issued by the US Comptroller General and CIGIE.

Final audit reports are usually provided to the Commission, the management officials responsible for implementing the recommendations and the executive director of the agency. Audit and evaluation reports are public documents and are available on the OIG website.

The OIG also prepares an annual report on senior management challenges facing the agency. This report is included in the agency’s annual financial report to Congress.

OIG investigations

The OIG investigates allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and/or misconduct involving FTC employees, contractors, or entities doing business with the FTC. OIG investigations cover criminal, civil and administrative violations of laws and regulations. Visit the OIG In the Media page for media coverage of OIG investigations.

An employee who is the subject of an OIG investigation benefits from their rights to representation and self-incrimination. In addition, all OIG investigations are conducted in accordance with the “Quality Standards for Investigations” issued by the Board of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

The subject of an OIG investigation may be any agency employee, FTC contractor, consultant, or individual or entity implicated in alleged wrongdoing affecting FTC programs and operations.

FTC employees have a duty to cooperate with the OIG and must answer questions posed by an OIG investigator unless they have been informed that they are the subject of a criminal investigation. Intentional falsification or concealment of a material fact in the course of an OIG investigation could violate the law and result in disciplinary action or criminal prosecution.

At the end of an OIG investigation, the OIG investigator prepares a report that outlines the allegations and an objective description of the facts developed during the investigation. The investigation report does not contain any recommendations. The OIG forwards investigative reports that identify criminal activity or fraud to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution or recovery of damages and penalties. If administrative misconduct is found, the OIG forwards the report to the appropriate management officials for consideration for disciplinary action. OIG investigation reports are not public records and are not available on the OIG website.