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Overview:
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for ensuring that DOT programs and operations comply with the law and carry out their functions efficiently. The OIG performs dozens of audits and investigations each year that review financial records, as well as other documentation, to determine if any criminal or unethical behavior or poorly managed operations need to be addressed. In cases where DOT employees are suspected of breaking the law, the OIG refers the matter to the US Attorney General for prosecution.
 
more
History:

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by law in 1978 to provide Congress, federal departments and agencies with objective and independent reviews of the efficiency and effectiveness of executive branch operations and activities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was among the cabinet-level departments that added an OIG to review, audit and investigate transportation programs.
 
There are 57 OIGs in the federal government today. Originally, there were only 12 when the Inspector General Act of 1978 was adopted. OIGs employ criminal investigators, sometimes referred to as special agents, and auditors, including forensic auditors, who look for fraud, waste abuse, and mismanagement in government operations.
 
In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed Executive Order 12805 creating two organizations to help facilitate the work of inspectors general to reduce abuse, fraud and waste: the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE). PCIE is comprised of inspectors general who are appointed by the President, while ECIE consists of IG’s appointed by their respective agency heads. The inspector general for DOT is part of the PCIE.
 

When Congress adopted the

Homeland Security Act of 2002

(PDF), an amendment was added to the IG Act of 1978, Section 6e, that granted PCIE inspectors general full law enforcement authority to carry firearms, make arrests and execute search warrants.

 

more
What it Does:

The Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts investigations into whether federal laws and regulations have been followed and reports suspected civil and criminal violations to the United States Attorney General. The OIG carries out its mission by issuing audit reports, investigations, evaluations and management advisories with findings and recommendations to improve program delivery and performance. The office makes available announcements, correspondence, semiannual reports and testimonies for public viewing. In Fiscal Year 2007, OIG issued 81 audit reports that identified more than $900 million in financial recommendations.
 
 
OIG initiates an audit for different reasons. In some cases, audits are required by law. Others are requested by key officials, such as the Secretary of Transportation, other DOT leaders or members of Congress. The office also sets its own priorities, weighing such factors as the past experience of an office when deciding to perform an audit. Many OIG probes start with a referral from an office within the Transportation Department. Others start when enforcers within the Inspector General’s office suspect a pattern of criminal behavior. Still others begin when people call the OIG Hotline, a phone line specially dedicated to help citizens, including government workers, “blow the whistle” on waste, fraud or abuse. OIG's Hotline can be reached at 1-800-424-9071; its staff also can be e-mailed at hotline@oig.dot.gov
 
Whistleblowers
Five separate laws protect “whistle-blowers” from reprisals, such as removal or reassignment. They are the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1984, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the IG Act of 1978. Regular federal employees and federal contract workers both are covered.
 

Allegations of reprisal are investigated by the Office of Special Counsel or the Inspector General. The IG can take a finding of reprisal against an employee to appropriate Transportation Department officials; the Office of Special Counsel takes its findings to the Merit Systems Protection Board. That board has the power to order a halt to negative actions against an employee, order reinstatement to an earlier status and take disciplinary action against an offending official. Depending on the severity of the offense, the retaliator might lose his or her job, be suspended or reprimanded, face a reduction in grade or face a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Department of Transportation Still Loaded with Pork
In the wake of the catastrophic collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis, MN, much attention was given to the millions of dollars that lawmakers had appropriated for pet projects in their districts instead of spending the money on the backlog of critical transportation work needed throughout the country. But instead of learning their lesson, Congress continued to devote billions for the Department of Transportation to “earmarks,” such as a North Dakota peace garden, a Montana baseball stadium and a Las Vegas history museum.
 
According to the DOT’s inspector general, total spending on transportation “pork” in 2008 is likely to be about $8 billion. The report by the OIG identified 8,056 earmarks totaling $8.5 billion, or 13.5% of the Transportation Department’s $63 billion spending plan.
 
$8B in pork clogs U.S. infrastructure plans (by Ken Dilanian, USA Today)

Inspector General Report on DOT Earmarks

(PDF)

 

more
Controversies:

FAA Failing to Ensure Safe Parts for Airlines
In February 2008 the inspector general (IG) for the Department of Transportation issued an alarming report about the state of airline safety with regards to the manufacturing of parts and equipment. Airlines rely on both domestic and overseas suppliers for components in their aircraft, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has done a poor job of making sure contractors and subcontractors provide quality components, said the IG.
 
What this meant was that the FAA was failing to provide effective oversight of suppliers, allowing “substandard parts to enter the aviation supply chain,” reported the IG. The audit found that outsourcing to other countries is a significant safety oversight concern, as is production of airline parts by American contractors.
 
The Project on Government Oversight noted three serious findings in the IG’s report:
  • “Manufacturers were not verifying that their suppliers were providing effective oversight of the sub-tier suppliers they used to produce parts. This is a critical safety issue, as demonstrated by four engine failures that occurred in FY 2003 due to faulty speed sensors on fuel pumps obtained from a supplier. Three of the engine failures occurred on the ground and one occurred in flight. The part failures were traced to unapproved design changes made by a sub-tier supplier. In all, 152 parts were manufactured in the suspect population.” (Page 12)
  • “Effective oversight of suppliers is essential to ensure that substandard parts do not enter the aviation supply chain. For example, in February 2003, 1 supplier released approximately 5,000 parts that were not manufactured properly for use on landing gear for large commercial passenger aircraft. At least one of these landing gear parts failed while in service. While FAA became aware of this large-scale breakdown at this supplier in 2003, it has not performed a supplier audit at this facility in the last 4 years.” (Page 11)
  • “One supplier allowed new, untrained employees to manufacture several components. We witnessed one new employee improperly inspecting a product. A later review of his training record showed that he had not received any formal training in the proper inspection method. This was the same supplier mentioned previously that used a piece of paper as a measuring device for an oil and fuel pressure transmitter.” (Page 13)
 
IG Accuses FAA of Not Properly Training New Air Traffic Controllers
The Transportation Department’s inspector general reported in June 2008 that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is hiring so many new air traffic controllers that it cannot adequately train them. The FAA had exceeded the maximum number of trainees at the 314 air control facilities around the country.
 
The IG also found that the FAA used a database filled with incorrect information to manage the training program and has failed to fix problems that were recommended four years earlier.
 
Furthermore, FAA leadership was not clearly defined as to who had authority over the training of new controllers. Four different vice presidents at FAA headquarters were responsible in one way or another for hiring and training duties. “Facility managers, training managers and even headquarters officials were unable to tell us who or what office was ultimately responsible for facility training,” the IG report said.
 
FAA officials responded by saying they would accept most of the IG’s recommendations. But the FAA rejected the idea of making public an accurate count each year of how many fully certified controllers and how many trainees work in each of its facilities.

FAA Lagging in Air Traffic Training, Report Says

(by Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press)

 

more
Suggested Reforms:

Congress Planning Changes to IG System
In spite of the good work of many inspectors general over the years, lawmakers have been considering revamping the way investigators operate or are appointed. Since the creation of IGs in 1978, billions of dollars have been saved and illegal behavior punished. The Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General, for example, has revealed potential safety risks posed by the airlines’ outsourcing of maintenance work (see Controversies).
 
But since the election of George W. Bush to the White House in 2000, inspector general appointments have become increasingly politicized, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. More than 60% of the IGs appointed by President Bush had political experience, such as service in a Republican White House, while fewer than 20% had audit experience, according to a committee report. By contrast, more than 60% of the IGs appointed by President Bill Clinton had audit experience, while fewer than 25% were political appointees.
 
In addition to politics, others problems experienced by IGs include interference by agency management, absence of control over budgets and agency efforts to remove inspectors viewed as overly aggressive.
 
Legislation moving through Congress would establish a council to review complaints against inspectors general. The bill would also standardize compensation for IGs appointed by the President to prevent agencies from discouraging qualified candidates by offering low pay. It would require that full, uncensored IG reports be posted on the Internet and that Congress be notified of any proposed removal of an IG.
 
The independent government watchdog Project on Government Oversight (POGO) wants to go ever further. POGO has called for all IGs to be appointed by the President, allow the IG to investigate all aspects of an agency’s operations (the Justice Department’s IG, for instance, can’t investigate the attorney general), limit the terms of IGs, and allow them to subpoena testimony as well as documents.
 

Investigating the Investigators: Congress responds to complaints about inspectors general

(by Danielle Knight, U.S. News & World Report)

 

more

Comments

Ann Hill 4 years ago
The Dept. of Justice wrote to Mr. Scoval with a complaint to investigate and the letter was consficated by someone working for Host Marriott. The answer was not an answer for what he was asked to do. The Marriott and airport officials operate a conspiracy on airports to give back to Marriott all concessions on airports. My airport is in violation of the assurance package where they signed to receive federal funds and is not in compliance on not one because Patricia White in FAA stop...
marla scott 5 years ago
need to know how to actually reach the inspector general. our tractor and trailer impounded because the company we leased on to for 2.5 weeks owes ky ifta taxes. we are about to lose everything.

Leave a comment

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Founded: 1978
Annual Budget: $66 million
Employees: 412
Official Website: http://www.oig.dot.gov/
Office of the Inspector General
Scovel, Calvin
Inspector General
Calvin Scovel III has served as the sixth inspector general for the Department of Transportation since October 27, 2006.
 
Scovel received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University. He also received a master’s degree from the Naval War College.
 
Scovel joined DOT after 29 years of active service in the US Marine Corps, from which he retired as a brigadier general. Scovel commanded a military police battalion that provided all security and law enforcement services for Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. He served as legal advisor for a Marine amphibious unit deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, where it conducted exercises in Japan, the Philippines, Kenya and Australia. Scovel also served as senior legal advisor for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which included all Marine amphibious forces in Operation Desert Storm and in a NATO exercise in Norway.
 
He served as Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy for Military Justice, the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Judge Advocate General on all criminal justice policy matters. His last military assignment was as a senior judge on the US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
 
In total, Scovel was prosecutor or defense counsel in 250 courts-martial that included charges of murder, rape, child sexual assault and drug trafficking.
 
Scovel has worked as an adjunct faculty member for the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, where he led instruction teams in the rule of law and civilian control of the military for senior civilian and military officials in Honduras, Mauritius, Albania and Serbia.
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for ensuring that DOT programs and operations comply with the law and carry out their functions efficiently. The OIG performs dozens of audits and investigations each year that review financial records, as well as other documentation, to determine if any criminal or unethical behavior or poorly managed operations need to be addressed. In cases where DOT employees are suspected of breaking the law, the OIG refers the matter to the US Attorney General for prosecution.
 
more
History:

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by law in 1978 to provide Congress, federal departments and agencies with objective and independent reviews of the efficiency and effectiveness of executive branch operations and activities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was among the cabinet-level departments that added an OIG to review, audit and investigate transportation programs.
 
There are 57 OIGs in the federal government today. Originally, there were only 12 when the Inspector General Act of 1978 was adopted. OIGs employ criminal investigators, sometimes referred to as special agents, and auditors, including forensic auditors, who look for fraud, waste abuse, and mismanagement in government operations.
 
In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed Executive Order 12805 creating two organizations to help facilitate the work of inspectors general to reduce abuse, fraud and waste: the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE). PCIE is comprised of inspectors general who are appointed by the President, while ECIE consists of IG’s appointed by their respective agency heads. The inspector general for DOT is part of the PCIE.
 

When Congress adopted the

Homeland Security Act of 2002

(PDF), an amendment was added to the IG Act of 1978, Section 6e, that granted PCIE inspectors general full law enforcement authority to carry firearms, make arrests and execute search warrants.

 

more
What it Does:

The Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts investigations into whether federal laws and regulations have been followed and reports suspected civil and criminal violations to the United States Attorney General. The OIG carries out its mission by issuing audit reports, investigations, evaluations and management advisories with findings and recommendations to improve program delivery and performance. The office makes available announcements, correspondence, semiannual reports and testimonies for public viewing. In Fiscal Year 2007, OIG issued 81 audit reports that identified more than $900 million in financial recommendations.
 
 
OIG initiates an audit for different reasons. In some cases, audits are required by law. Others are requested by key officials, such as the Secretary of Transportation, other DOT leaders or members of Congress. The office also sets its own priorities, weighing such factors as the past experience of an office when deciding to perform an audit. Many OIG probes start with a referral from an office within the Transportation Department. Others start when enforcers within the Inspector General’s office suspect a pattern of criminal behavior. Still others begin when people call the OIG Hotline, a phone line specially dedicated to help citizens, including government workers, “blow the whistle” on waste, fraud or abuse. OIG's Hotline can be reached at 1-800-424-9071; its staff also can be e-mailed at hotline@oig.dot.gov
 
Whistleblowers
Five separate laws protect “whistle-blowers” from reprisals, such as removal or reassignment. They are the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1984, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the IG Act of 1978. Regular federal employees and federal contract workers both are covered.
 

Allegations of reprisal are investigated by the Office of Special Counsel or the Inspector General. The IG can take a finding of reprisal against an employee to appropriate Transportation Department officials; the Office of Special Counsel takes its findings to the Merit Systems Protection Board. That board has the power to order a halt to negative actions against an employee, order reinstatement to an earlier status and take disciplinary action against an offending official. Depending on the severity of the offense, the retaliator might lose his or her job, be suspended or reprimanded, face a reduction in grade or face a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Department of Transportation Still Loaded with Pork
In the wake of the catastrophic collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis, MN, much attention was given to the millions of dollars that lawmakers had appropriated for pet projects in their districts instead of spending the money on the backlog of critical transportation work needed throughout the country. But instead of learning their lesson, Congress continued to devote billions for the Department of Transportation to “earmarks,” such as a North Dakota peace garden, a Montana baseball stadium and a Las Vegas history museum.
 
According to the DOT’s inspector general, total spending on transportation “pork” in 2008 is likely to be about $8 billion. The report by the OIG identified 8,056 earmarks totaling $8.5 billion, or 13.5% of the Transportation Department’s $63 billion spending plan.
 
$8B in pork clogs U.S. infrastructure plans (by Ken Dilanian, USA Today)

Inspector General Report on DOT Earmarks

(PDF)

 

more
Controversies:

FAA Failing to Ensure Safe Parts for Airlines
In February 2008 the inspector general (IG) for the Department of Transportation issued an alarming report about the state of airline safety with regards to the manufacturing of parts and equipment. Airlines rely on both domestic and overseas suppliers for components in their aircraft, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has done a poor job of making sure contractors and subcontractors provide quality components, said the IG.
 
What this meant was that the FAA was failing to provide effective oversight of suppliers, allowing “substandard parts to enter the aviation supply chain,” reported the IG. The audit found that outsourcing to other countries is a significant safety oversight concern, as is production of airline parts by American contractors.
 
The Project on Government Oversight noted three serious findings in the IG’s report:
  • “Manufacturers were not verifying that their suppliers were providing effective oversight of the sub-tier suppliers they used to produce parts. This is a critical safety issue, as demonstrated by four engine failures that occurred in FY 2003 due to faulty speed sensors on fuel pumps obtained from a supplier. Three of the engine failures occurred on the ground and one occurred in flight. The part failures were traced to unapproved design changes made by a sub-tier supplier. In all, 152 parts were manufactured in the suspect population.” (Page 12)
  • “Effective oversight of suppliers is essential to ensure that substandard parts do not enter the aviation supply chain. For example, in February 2003, 1 supplier released approximately 5,000 parts that were not manufactured properly for use on landing gear for large commercial passenger aircraft. At least one of these landing gear parts failed while in service. While FAA became aware of this large-scale breakdown at this supplier in 2003, it has not performed a supplier audit at this facility in the last 4 years.” (Page 11)
  • “One supplier allowed new, untrained employees to manufacture several components. We witnessed one new employee improperly inspecting a product. A later review of his training record showed that he had not received any formal training in the proper inspection method. This was the same supplier mentioned previously that used a piece of paper as a measuring device for an oil and fuel pressure transmitter.” (Page 13)
 
IG Accuses FAA of Not Properly Training New Air Traffic Controllers
The Transportation Department’s inspector general reported in June 2008 that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is hiring so many new air traffic controllers that it cannot adequately train them. The FAA had exceeded the maximum number of trainees at the 314 air control facilities around the country.
 
The IG also found that the FAA used a database filled with incorrect information to manage the training program and has failed to fix problems that were recommended four years earlier.
 
Furthermore, FAA leadership was not clearly defined as to who had authority over the training of new controllers. Four different vice presidents at FAA headquarters were responsible in one way or another for hiring and training duties. “Facility managers, training managers and even headquarters officials were unable to tell us who or what office was ultimately responsible for facility training,” the IG report said.
 
FAA officials responded by saying they would accept most of the IG’s recommendations. But the FAA rejected the idea of making public an accurate count each year of how many fully certified controllers and how many trainees work in each of its facilities.

FAA Lagging in Air Traffic Training, Report Says

(by Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press)

 

more
Suggested Reforms:

Congress Planning Changes to IG System
In spite of the good work of many inspectors general over the years, lawmakers have been considering revamping the way investigators operate or are appointed. Since the creation of IGs in 1978, billions of dollars have been saved and illegal behavior punished. The Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General, for example, has revealed potential safety risks posed by the airlines’ outsourcing of maintenance work (see Controversies).
 
But since the election of George W. Bush to the White House in 2000, inspector general appointments have become increasingly politicized, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. More than 60% of the IGs appointed by President Bush had political experience, such as service in a Republican White House, while fewer than 20% had audit experience, according to a committee report. By contrast, more than 60% of the IGs appointed by President Bill Clinton had audit experience, while fewer than 25% were political appointees.
 
In addition to politics, others problems experienced by IGs include interference by agency management, absence of control over budgets and agency efforts to remove inspectors viewed as overly aggressive.
 
Legislation moving through Congress would establish a council to review complaints against inspectors general. The bill would also standardize compensation for IGs appointed by the President to prevent agencies from discouraging qualified candidates by offering low pay. It would require that full, uncensored IG reports be posted on the Internet and that Congress be notified of any proposed removal of an IG.
 
The independent government watchdog Project on Government Oversight (POGO) wants to go ever further. POGO has called for all IGs to be appointed by the President, allow the IG to investigate all aspects of an agency’s operations (the Justice Department’s IG, for instance, can’t investigate the attorney general), limit the terms of IGs, and allow them to subpoena testimony as well as documents.
 

Investigating the Investigators: Congress responds to complaints about inspectors general

(by Danielle Knight, U.S. News & World Report)

 

more

Comments

Ann Hill 4 years ago
The Dept. of Justice wrote to Mr. Scoval with a complaint to investigate and the letter was consficated by someone working for Host Marriott. The answer was not an answer for what he was asked to do. The Marriott and airport officials operate a conspiracy on airports to give back to Marriott all concessions on airports. My airport is in violation of the assurance package where they signed to receive federal funds and is not in compliance on not one because Patricia White in FAA stop...
marla scott 5 years ago
need to know how to actually reach the inspector general. our tractor and trailer impounded because the company we leased on to for 2.5 weeks owes ky ifta taxes. we are about to lose everything.

Leave a comment

captcha

Founded: 1978
Annual Budget: $66 million
Employees: 412
Official Website: http://www.oig.dot.gov/
Office of the Inspector General
Scovel, Calvin
Inspector General
Calvin Scovel III has served as the sixth inspector general for the Department of Transportation since October 27, 2006.
 
Scovel received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University. He also received a master’s degree from the Naval War College.
 
Scovel joined DOT after 29 years of active service in the US Marine Corps, from which he retired as a brigadier general. Scovel commanded a military police battalion that provided all security and law enforcement services for Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. He served as legal advisor for a Marine amphibious unit deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, where it conducted exercises in Japan, the Philippines, Kenya and Australia. Scovel also served as senior legal advisor for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which included all Marine amphibious forces in Operation Desert Storm and in a NATO exercise in Norway.
 
He served as Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy for Military Justice, the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Judge Advocate General on all criminal justice policy matters. His last military assignment was as a senior judge on the US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
 
In total, Scovel was prosecutor or defense counsel in 250 courts-martial that included charges of murder, rape, child sexual assault and drug trafficking.
 
Scovel has worked as an adjunct faculty member for the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, where he led instruction teams in the rule of law and civilian control of the military for senior civilian and military officials in Honduras, Mauritius, Albania and Serbia.
 
more