The Investigative Process


The Office of Investigations

The OIG's Office of Investigations is comprised of criminal and general investigators that are responsible for conducting criminal, civil, and administrative investigations of fraud and a variety of other allegations affecting DOT, its operating administrations, programs, and grantees (grant funds).  The Office of Investigation’s top priorities involve crimes with a public safety impact, procurement and grant fraud schemes that significantly impact DOT funds, consumer and workforce fraud, and employee integrity violations. Learn more about OIG's investigative priorities and common fraud schemes. The Office of Investigations also manages a Hotline Complaint Center and investigates whistleblower complaints, including those referred by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

The Investigative Process

An investigation will usually begin with the receipt of an allegation that impacts the DOT, one of its employees, a grantee, or a program area.  Investigations are opened based on OIG priorities and procedures and in consideration of prosecutorial guidelines that the local United States Attorneys have established.

Some allegations cause the initiation of investigations, while others are retained as the basis for audits, referred to DOT management for action, or, if appropriate, referred to another law enforcement agency.

At a very early stage of the investigative process, all allegations that appear to be criminal in nature will be presented to the Department of Justice for prosecutorial consideration.  If the DOJ accepts a matter for prosecution, the Office of Investigations will work the investigation in close coordination with DOJ.

At the conclusion of an investigation, a report is prepared that will summarize the facts disclosed during the investigation.  The report is distributed to prosecuting attorneys, as appropriate, and to DOT Operating Administration officials who may have an official interest in the results of the investigation.

At the conclusion of any judicial action that may result from an investigation, the Office of Investigations advises the Operating Administration of the outcome.  For those investigations that do not conclude with a judicial action, but are handled administratively by the Operating Administration, the Office of Investigations will track any corrective or disciplinary action that may be taken by the Administration.

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