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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Executive Order on the Office of the Inspector General

Guidelines for the Conduct of Business by the Office of the Inspector General

§ 100.   Establishment and organization

  1. There is hereby established in the Office of the State Comptroller the Office of the Inspector General. The State Comptroller shall appoint an Inspector General.  Such person shall be the head of the office and shall report directly to the State Comptroller.

  2. The Inspector General shall hold office until the end of the term of the State Comptroller by whom he or she was appointed and until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified, subject to removal for cause with notice and a hearing before an independent hearing officer.  He or she may be assisted by a staff of investigators, internal auditors and other personnel as appropriate and as authorized by the State Comptroller.

§ 101.  Functions and duties

The Inspector General shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Receive and investigate complaints from any source, or upon his or her own initiative, concerning allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the Office of the State Comptroller by an officer or employee relating to his or her office or employment, by a person having business dealings with the agency relating to such dealings, by a person appointed by the State Comptroller to serve as a member of a committee of the New York State and Local Retirement System or of the Common Retirement Fund, or by a person or entity having business dealings with the Common Retirement Fund relating to such dealings. For purposes of these Guidelines, “abuse” shall mean a misuse of office or a material misuse of state resources;

  2. Inform the State Comptroller and his designees of such allegations and the progress of investigations related thereto, unless special circumstances require confidentiality;

  3. Conduct internal investigations;

  4. Determine with respect to allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the Office of the State Comptroller whether disciplinary action, civil or criminal prosecution, or further investigation by an appropriate federal, state or local agency is warranted, and assist in such investigations, as appropriate;

  5. Supervise the internal audit functions of the Office of the State Comptroller;

  6. Review and examine periodically agency policies, procedures, guidelines and executive orders with regard to the prevention and detection of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse;

  7. Recommend remedial action to prevent or eliminate corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the agency;

  8. Participate in programs for training agency officers and employees regarding the prevention and elimination of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the agency;

  9. Consult with the Special Counsel for Ethics regarding the resolution of any and all issues, complaints or inquiries involving possible ethics violations;

  10. Consult with other agency officials, including the Counsel for Investigations and the Deputy Comptroller for Human Resources and Administration, regarding the resolution of any and all issues, complaints or inquiries involving matters that fall within the scope of their respective jurisdictions;

  11. Report the findings of all investigations directly to the State Comptroller and his designee(s), except where the State Comptroller is the subject of the investigation, as provided in section 104[2], below; and upon conclusion of an investigation, report to the complainant and to the subject of the inquiry, where appropriate, that the Inspector General  has concluded the investigation;

  12. Submit quarterly reports to the State Comptroller concerning the internal audit activities; periodically meet with the State Comptroller; and prepare other reports as necessary to keep the State Comptroller informed of the status of compliance with internal control requirements;

  13. Review and advise on  protocols regarding employee background checks and assist the Division of Human Resources and Administration, where appropriate, in the conduct of background investigations; and

  14. Operate a telephone hotline to receive calls from agency officers and employees and the public;

§ 102.  Powers

The Inspector General shall have the power to:

  1. Administer oaths or affirmations and examine witnesses;

  2. Require any agency officer or employee to produce any and all books and papers concerning any matter related to the performance of his or her official duties as are deemed relevant or material to any investigation, examination or review;

  3. Require any agency officer or employee to answer questions concerning any matter related to the performance of his or her official duties, consistent with contractual, statutory and constitutional protections.  The refusal of any officer or employee to answer questions or to fully cooperate with the Inspector General may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty;

  4. Monitor the implementation by the agency of any recommendations made by the Inspector General; and

  5. Perform any other functions that are necessary or appropriate to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of office.

§ 103.  Responsibilities of agency officers and employees

  1. Every agency officer or employee should report promptly to the Inspector General any information brought to his or her  attention or based on personal observation concerning corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the Office of the State Comptroller by an officer or employee relating to his or her office or employment, by a person having business dealings with the agency relating to such dealings, by a person appointed by the State Comptroller to serve as a member of a committee of the New York State and Local Retirement System or of the Common Retirement Fund, or by a person or entity having business dealings with the Common Retirement Fund relating to such dealings.

    Provided, however, that an agency officer or employee shall not be expected to report to the Inspector General information that would ordinarily be handled as a supervisory matter, such as tardiness, or allegations that have been reported to OSC management pursuant to other OSC policies or guidelines, including the Executive Policy on Discrimination and Harassment.

    Provided, further, that an agency employee assistance program coordinator, nurse, steward or other employee union official to whom a communication is made with an expectation of privacy or confidentiality and in such role shall not be expected to report the substance of such communication to the Inspector General.

    No officer or employee who acts in good faith pursuant to this provision by reporting information to the Inspector General shall be subject to retaliatory dismissal, discipline or other adverse personnel action.

  2. Interference with or obstruction of an investigation conducted by the Inspector General may constitute cause for disciplinary action, up to and including removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty.  Provided, however, that an agency employee assistance program coordinator, nurse, steward or other employee union official to whom a communication is made with an expectation of privacy or confidentiality and in such role shall not be obligated to report the substance of such communication to the Inspector General.

  3. The appropriate Deputy Comptroller or other agency manager concerning whose operations the Inspector General has issued a report that recommends remedial action shall advise the Inspector General and the State Comptroller in writing within ninety days of the issuance of such report as to the remedial action taken in response to any recommendation for such action contained in such report.

§ 104.  Procedural safeguards; investigations regarding certain officers or employees of the Office of the State Comptroller

  1. (a)  Whenever it appears that an employee is a likely subject for disciplinary action, prior to any further questioning by the Inspector General, the Inspector General shall advise the employee of his or her right to representation in accordance with applicable contractual and statutory provisions.   Prior to any such questioning or interrogation, the employee, upon request, shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to obtain such representation.

    (b) The Inspector General shall provide an officer or employee of the Office of the State Comptroller who is the subject of an investigation by the Inspector General with an opportunity to respond to allegations relating to inappropriate conduct on the part of such officer or employee; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to limit the agency’s prerogative to terminate an exempt employee with or without cause and with or without questioning.

    (c)  Prior to the issuance of a final report related to any investigation, examination or review of allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by an officer or employee of the Office of the State Comptroller, the Inspector General shall consult with the General Counsel to determine whether there are legal and/or ethical considerations to be taken into account; provided, however, that if the General Counsel is the subject of the report, the Inspector General shall consult with an independent hearing officer who shall be appointed by the State Comptroller or his designee.

    (d)  The Inspector General shall provide a copy of the final report to the State Comptroller and his designees, including the appropriate Deputy Comptroller or other agency manager concerning whose operations the Inspector General has issued a report.  The Inspector General shall also advise the complainant that the matter he or she reported to the Office of the Inspector General has been fully investigated.

  2. (a)  Prior to the commencement of any investigation, examination or review based on allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by the State Comptroller, the Inspector General shall consult with the General Counsel and the First Deputy Comptroller concerning the investigative process.  They shall jointly appoint an independent hearing officer or special master to advise the Inspector General on procedural safeguards to be observed during the course of such investigation, examination or review.  The Inspector General shall provide the State Comptroller with an opportunity to respond to the allegations against the State Comptroller.

    (b)  Prior to issuing a final report of his or her investigation, examination or review under this subdivision, the Inspector General shall submit a preliminary draft thereof to the independent hearing officer or special master for review and comment.  Such report shall not be made final in the absence of an opportunity for such review and comment.

    (c)   If, based on the final report of the Inspector General, it is determined that there is reasonable cause upon which to sustain the allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflict of interest or abuse by the State Comptroller, the Inspector General shall forward a copy of such report to any appropriate federal, state or local officer or law enforcement or regulatory agency. 

  3. In the event the Inspector General becomes the subject of an allegation of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse, the State Comptroller or his designee shall appoint an interim Inspector General to investigate such allegation.

 § 105.  Miscellaneous Provisions

  1. Reports of the Inspector General are confidential internal agency documents and shall be treated in the same manner as internal audit reports. 

  2. The Inspector General shall annually prepare and submit to the State Comptroller a written report concerning the work and activities of the Office of the Inspector General which shall consist of statistical information regarding the disposition of closed investigations, audits and other reviews.

  3. The activities of the Office of the Inspector General shall be included in the triennial audit of internal control required by the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act.

 

________/s/_________________
George S. King
Inspector General

Dated:   February 13, 2008

Acknowledged

__________/s/_______________
Thomas P. DiNapoli
State Comptroller, State of New York
Dated:   February 13, 2008