What is the function of the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor (OEIG)?
The function of the OEIG is to investigate allegations of misconduct committed by employees, appointees or officials of the agencies, boards, commissions, state public universities, or regional transit boards under its jurisdiction, plus those doing business with those agencies.
When should I report a matter to the OEIG?
You should contact the OEIG whenever you have a reasonable belief of or witness a wrongful act or omission on the part of any employee or agency under the OEIG's jurisdiction or those doing business those agencies. Under Executive Order 16-04, state employees are required to report misconduct to the OEIG and/or their ethics officer.
What types of complaints does the OEIG investigate?
The OEIG investigates, when appropriate, alleged violations of law, rule, policy, or regulation committed by any employee of, or those doing business with, an entity under its jurisdiction. For example, the Office investigates allegations of waste, fraud, abuse of authority, theft, misuse of state property, procurement fraud, hiring improprieties, and improper time reporting, among others. The OEIG also investigates alleged violations of the Ethics Act, including prohibited political activity, the "revolving door" prohibition, sexual harassment, the gift ban, and retaliation. The OEIG also has the discretion to decline to investigate matters.
How do I file a complaint?
A complaint may be filed with this Office in writing, preferably on an OEIG complaint form, or orally. You may file a complaint by:
- Completing a form online at https://www2.illinois.gov/oeig/complaints/Pages/OnlineComplaint.aspx
- Calling the Office's toll-free hotline (866) 814-1113;
- Sending a completed complaint form to the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor, Attention Complaint Division, 69 West Washington Street, Suite 3400, Chicago, Illinois 60602;
- Faxing a completed complaint form to (312) 814-5479;
- Contacting the Office by telecommunications device for the disabled (TTY) at (888) 261-2734; or
- Scheduling an appointment with the Office at its Springfield or Chicago locations.
Does the OEIG accept anonymous complaints?
Yes, the OEIG may accept complaints that are filed anonymously. Anyone filing a complaint must provide sufficient detail about the allegations in order for an investigation to be started, and submitting a complaint anonymously may limit the OEIG's ability to fully investigate it.
How long does it take to complete an investigation?
The length of time required by an investigation is determined by a number of factors including, the nature of the allegation, the number of interviews required to identify the facts, the number of documents that must be obtained and analyzed, and other matters. Generally, it is the objective of the OEIG to conclude each investigation as expeditiously as possible.
What communication can I expect from the OEIG after I file a complaint?
After you file a complaint with the OEIG, you will typically receive a letter that will identify a file ID number for your complaint. Generally, you will be contacted again if we need additional information or clarification. The OEIG is an independent, objective investigative agency. It does not represent any party or agency in an investigation and does not investigate on behalf of any individual or agency.
Does the OEIG investigate all of the complaints it receives?
No, the OEIG investigates many, but not all, complaints it receives. The OEIG may refer matters to another agency when it appears that the allegations may be more appropriately addressed by that agency. In some instances, when the OEIG refers the matter to another agency, the OEIG requests that the agency review the allegations and respond to the OEIG about these allegations. The OEIG then reviews these agency responses to determine whether the agency adequately addressed the allegations or whether the OEIG should subsequently open an investigation.
The OEIG also has discretion to decline to investigate. Certain complaints received by the OEIG may require the involvement of other investigative or prosecutorial entities. Criminal matters, for example, may require the participation of, or referral to, other prosecuting or law enforcement authorities. The OEIG may refer a criminal matter to the Illinois State Police or other appropriate law enforcement authority.
Are complaints kept confidential once received by the OEIG?
Generally, all records pertaining to OEIG investigations are considered confidential and therefore, not subject to public release. Investigative files and reports of the Office of Executive Inspector General are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. However, if an investigation results in a finding that an employee engaged in misconduct, a report summarizing the investigation may be made public by the Executive Ethics Commission in accordance with applicable law.
The Ethics Act provides that "[u]nless otherwise provided in this Act, all investigatory files and reports of the Office of an Executive Inspector General, other than monthly reports required under Section 20-85, are confidential, are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and shall not be divulged to any person or agency, except as necessary (i) to a law enforcement authority, (ii) to the ultimate jurisdictional authority, (iii) to the Executive Ethics Commission, (iv) to another Inspector General appointed pursuant to this Act, or (v) to an Inspector General appointed or employed by a Regional Transit Board in accordance with Section 75-10." 5 ILCS 430/20-95(d).
Under the Ethics Act, the identity of an individual reporting any possible or alleged misconduct to the OEIG is confidential and may not be disclosed without the consent of that individual, unless the individual consents to disclosure of his or her name or disclosure of the individual's identity is otherwise required by law. 5 ILCS 430/20-90(a).
What is the OEIG's jurisdiction?
The jurisdiction of the OEIG extends to the governor, the lieutenant governor, and all officers and employees of, and vendors and others doing business with, executive branch state agencies, except for those that fall under the jurisdiction of the attorney general, the secretary of state, the comptroller or the treasurer. The OEIGs jurisdiction also extends to the nine state public universities and the four transit boards, i.e., the Regional Transportation Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace.
What happens if the OEIG does not have jurisdiction over a matter?
The complainant will generally receive written notification of that fact. Or, when appropriate, the complaint will be referred to another entity that may act upon it.
What types of complaints does the OEIG decline?
The OEIG does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to city or municipal officials, county officials, federal officials, or federal or state court judges or employees without any government affiliation. The OEIG may also be unable to investigate complaints of misconduct occurring more than one year prior to the date a complaint was received by the OEIG or complaints that fail to provide detail sufficient to begin an investigation.
Are law enforcement agencies affiliated with the OEIG?
Certain complaints received by the OEIG may require the involvement of other investigative or prosecutorial entities. Criminal matters, for example, may require the participation of, or referral to, other prosecuting or law enforcement authorities. The OEIG may also refer a criminal matter to the Illinois State Police or other appropriate law enforcement authority.
What powers are available to the OEIG?
The OEIG may issue subpoenas requiring the appearance of anyone for questioning and the production of any books, records, or other documents relevant to an investigation. The OEIG may also interview any individual under its jurisdiction and request records in furtherance of an investigation.
Is there a limit on the age of an allegation that the OEIG can investigate?
Yes. Generally, the OEIG can only investigate misconduct that occurred within one year of the complaint's submittal to the Office. Thus, if the last act of the alleged misconduct occurred more than one year ago, the OEIG is without authority to investigate unless there is reasonable cause to believe fraudulent concealment has occurred.
How can I contact the OEIG?
You may contact the OEIG by U.S. mail, fax, teletype, or telephone:
Office of Executive Inspector General
69 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
(888) 261-2734 (TTY)
(866) 814-1113 (toll-free)
(312) 814-5479 (fax)
Office of Executive Inspector General
607 East Adams Street
Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 782-1605 (fax)