Frequently Asked Questions - Inspector General
Are employees required to cooperate with an audit or investigation?
All NLRB employees, supervisors, and managers are required by regulation to cooperate with OIG personnel during the course of any OIG audit, investigation, or other inquiry. This means participating in interviews, responding to surveys, and providing all requested documentation and information in a timely manner.
OIG is authorized access to all documents relating to NLRB programs and operations. The Inspector General may subpoena documents from private and non-federal government entities as necessary to conduct investigations.
Can audits turn into investigations, or investigations turn into audits?
Auditors are required to design audits to obtain reasonable assurances about compliance with laws and regulations. While conducting an audit, the auditor may become aware of potential criminal or serious administrative violations. This information may be referred for a possible investigation.
Conversely, while performing an investigation, the investigator may identify weaknesses in procedures or controls. This information may be referred for a possible audit.
How does the OIG keep Congress and the Chairman informed?
The Inspector General is statutorily required to prepare semiannual reports for the Chairman and Congress. These reports, which are available to the public, must include the results of significant audits and investigations, and the status of open recommendations.
On a regular basis, the Inspector General keeps the Chairman and other agency officials informed by briefings and distributing documents.
What is the difference between audits and investigations?
Audits are objective and systematic assessments of how well offices are carrying out NLRB programs and operations, and focus on process. Audits are conducted pursuant to the Government Auditing Standards, known as the "Yellow Book," issued by the Comptroller General. Audits may have financial and/or performance objectives. Audit reports containing findings and recommendations are issued to appropriate officials. Audit reports are public documents available upon request. Investigations are usually undertaken in response to reports of misconduct, and focus upon a person. Investigations are conducted pursuant to the Quality Standards for Investigations issued by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency. Investigation reports may be prepared to refer matters for prosecution, inform the agency of a basis for potential discipline, correct serious deficiencies, or inform other government agencies of the need for action within their jurisdiction. Access to investigative reports is limited in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act.
What is the Office of Inspector General?
The OIG is an independent office created within the NLRB by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988. As set forth in the Act, the OIG is to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, and to promote economy and efficiency in government. OIG carries out its responsibilities by conducting audits, investigations, and other inquiries relating to NLRB programs and operations. OIG also reviews proposed and existing laws, regulations, and internal guidance concerning NLRB.
What limitations exist on OIG activities?
In order to maintain independence, OIG is prohibited from performing any Agency program functions. This does not prohibit OIG from participating in "prevention" activities, such as the development of agency policy or serving in an advisory capacity on committees.
Who investigates the OIG?
Allegations against most Agency OIG employees are handled by the Agency Inspector General. Allegations about the Agency Inspector General or senior Agency OIG employees are handled by the Integrity Committee established by Executive Order 12993. The audit function is subject to an external quality control review every three years.