How large is the Office of the Inspector General?
The Office of the Inspector General is a relatively small investigative agency. Currently, the office is staffed with the Inspector General, five investigators, and an administrative coordinator.
What is the function of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)?
The function of the OIG is to investigate allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct and mismanagement within the Executive Branch of South Carolina state government. The OIG is an independent and objective investigatory agency.
When should I contact the Office of the Inspector General?
You should contact the OIG whenever you have reason to suspect fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct and mismanagement within the Executive Branch of state government.
What powers are available to the Office of the Inspector General?
The authority and powers of the OIG are set forth in SC Code of Laws, Sections 1-6-10 through 1-6-100.
What is the Office of the Inspector General’s jurisdiction?
The OIG has jurisdiction over all state agencies and state employees within the Executive Branch of state government, to include all public colleges and universities. Specifically excluded from the OIG’s jurisdiction is the General Assembly (Legislative Branch) and any court (Judicial Branch). Additionally, the OIG does not have jurisdiction at municipal and county levels of government. This jurisdiction is statutorily defined in SC Code of Laws, Section 1-6-10.
What comprises the Executive Branch of state government?
The Executive Branch of South Carolina state government is the branch that is responsible for implementing, supporting, and enforcing the laws made by the Legislative Branch and interpreted by the Judicial Branch. The majority of state agencies are located in the Executive Branch. City and county governments are not included.
What types of complaints does the Office of the Inspector General investigate?
The OIG conducts investigations, program reviews and audits of Executive Branch agencies in South Carolina state government. There are approximately 106 Executive Branch agencies, to include public universities and colleges which are comprised of more than 56,000 state employees. The OIG is tasked with addressing fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and misconduct within this framework.
What types of complaints does the Office of the Inspector General decline?
Complaints that do not fall within the OIG’s jurisdiction are not accepted and the complainant is referred to the appropriate entity or authority. Please see the Information Links for a listing of filing options for complaints outside of the OIG’s jurisdiction.
Is the Office of the Inspector General a law enforcement agency?
No. The OIG is not a law enforcement agency. However, any unlawful or criminal conduct discovered during the course of an investigation is referred to the appropriate law enforcement entity.
Does the Office of the Inspector General have subpoena power?
Yes. The SC Code of Laws, §1-6-50 outlines the investigatory powers of the OIG which includes the authority to administer oaths; examine witnesses under oath; issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum; and examine the records, reports, audits, reviews, papers, books, recommendations, contracts, correspondence, or any other documents maintained by an agency.
How do I file a complaint?
A complaint may be filed with the OIG in writing, preferably through our online complaint form, or orally. You may file a complaint in one of three ways:
- Submitting the online complaint form found on this website;
- Calling our office’s toll free hotline at 1-(855) 723-7283 (855-SCFRAUD);
- Mailing your complaint to:
South Carolina Office of the State Inspector General
111 Executive Center Dr., Suite 204
Columbia, SC 29210-8416
Does the Office of the Inspector General accept anonymous complaints?
Yes. However, you are encouraged to identify yourself so that we may follow up with you, if necessary, to obtain additional information that would aid in our investigation.
Are complaints kept confidential?
Yes. See SC Code of Laws, Section1-6-100 for further information.
Can I file a complaint without fear of losing my job?
The identity of anyone providing information to OIG is provided confidentiality as set forth in SC Code of Laws, Section 1-6-100. Information regarding state employees and the “whistleblower” law can be found at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t08c027.php.
What happens after I file my complaint?
All complaints are reviewed by the office, regardless of the manner in which they are received. Given the small size of the agency, the OIG strives to undertake those matters that have the potential for a broader impact for all Executive Branch agencies. In those matters that the OIG does not investigate, the complaint may be delegated to the appropriate state agency for further review and investigation with a response back to the OIG on the results.
Will someone contact me from the Office of the Inspector General regarding my complaint?
Yes. The OIG responds to all complaint submissions if complainant’s contact information is provided. If further information or clarification is needed an OIG staff member will contact you telephonically or by email.
How long does it take to complete an investigation?
This is a common question. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to predict the length of an investigation. The time period is determined by the nature of the allegation, the number of interviews to be conducted, the volume of records to be reviewed, as well as the number of open investigations within the office.
Are reports of investigations made available to the public?
The OIG is committed to transparency in its reporting to the public in all matters, investigations and reviews. The majority of the reports of our investigations and reviews are published on our website. There are two exceptions when we do not publish our reports. The first involves a misconduct investigation of a state employee, where the completed report is given to the affected state agency for any personnel action deemed necessary. The second involves investigations where a referral to law enforcement may result based upon the findings. In those instances the OIG will submit the completed report to the law enforcement agency for further review and any action the law enforcement agency deems appropriate. In both of these instances, Freedom of Information requests should be made to those specific agencies involved.