The Office of Investigations has four priority areas:
Transportation Safety Investigations: The goal of this program is to enhance the Department's Transportation Safety goal by investigating transportation safety crimes where death or serious bodily injury has occurred or is likely to occur. The types of matters typically investigated involve parties that egregiously violate the DOT’s safety regulations and statutes. These investigations—and resultant prosecutions—are separate from, but complement, the regulatory enforcement programs of the DOT Operating Administrations. The availability of criminal sanctions sends a strong message to violators who consider regulatory/civil penalties simply a cost of doing business. Within this priority area there are three sub-areas:
- Aviation safety investigations normally involve counterfeit or substandard aircraft parts, falsified aircraft and aircraft parts maintenance records, and false certifications involving pilot and mechanic licensing and maintenance records.
- Motor carrier safety investigations include falsified drivers’ hours-of-service logs, fraudulently or corruptly obtained commercial drivers licenses, falsified truck or bus maintenance records, and fraud involving the testing of commercial drivers for drug and alcohol abuse.
- Hazardous materials investigations concern the illegal and undeclared shipment of HAZMAT in all modes of transportation.
Procurement and Grant Fraud Investigations: The goal of this program is to protect the loss of Federal transportation dollars by investigating fraud by grantees, grant recipients, and DOT contractors. In addition, this program helps ensure a level economic playing field for American workers and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in the distribution of Federal transportation funds. The types of frauds typically seen in DOT procurements and grants include, allegations of bribery and corruption, bid rigging, false claims, labor and materials over-charging, disadvantaged business enterprise fraud, and product substitution. In addition to conducting investigations, the Office of Investigations has a proactive fraud awareness and education outreach program with stakeholders at all levels of government.
Consumer and Workforce Fraud Investigations: The goal of this program is to protect American consumers and workers from fraud in connection with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration economic regulatory programs, such as household goods and motor carrier broker fraud schemes.
Employee Integrity Investigations: The goal of this program is to promote organizational excellence and program integrity by investigating serious employee misconduct. These types of investigations address a wide range of violations involving employees of the DOT such as, time and attendance fraud, travel voucher fraud, misuse of government property or funds, conflicts of interest, ethics violations, and other prohibited personnel actions.