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Other OIG Activities


The Office of Investigations investigates allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, gross mismanagement, employee and contractor misconduct, and criminal and civil violations of law that have an impact on the Institution's programs and operations. It refers matters to the U.S. Department of Justice whenever the OIG has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of federal criminal law. The Office of Investigations also identifies fraud indicators and recommends measures to management to improve the Smithsonian's ability to protect itself against fraud and other wrongdoing.

Related documents:

OIG Hotline Poster

Understanding the Investigative Process

Summaries of Selected Closed Cases and Complaints

Cash Theft from Museum Stores by Two Employees

OIG determined that two employees stole $3,431 in cash from Smithsonian museum retail stores. The Smithsonian terminated the employees; an arrest warrant was served on one employee; the other warrant remains outstanding. Subsequent to the arrest, the former employee entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Based on this agreement, the court ordered $500 in restitution and 32 hours of community service.

Assistance on Investigation into Violation of Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

OIG assisted the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in an investigation to determine whether a Smithsonian vendor falsely claimed Native heritage so that he could illegally sell American Indian artwork, pottery, and jewelry. The investigation determined that the contractor violated the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and the wire fraud statute. The United States Attorney’s Office declined prosecution of this matter.

Theft from Museum Store by Employee

OIG determined that a Smithsonian employee stole a statue valued at $185 from a Smithsonian museum retail store. An arrest warrant was obtained and executed by OIG. Subsequent to the arrest, the employee entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Based on this agreement, the court ordered 32 hours of community service. The employee retired from the Smithsonian.

Theft of Smithsonian Equipment by Contractor Employee

OIG determined that a Smithsonian contractor’s employee stole a Smithsonian laptop computer valued at $1,500. Based on OIG’s investigation the computer was recovered and the contractor terminated their employee. The United States Attorney’s Office declined prosecution of this matter.

Alleged Violation of Smithsonian Procedures by Senior Employee

OIG received a complaint alleging that a senior Smithsonian employee was not following program procedures. OIG learned that an outside agency is planning to conduct an independent program review that would include the areas of concerns raised by the complainant. OIG closed the matter due to the program review.

Alleged Whistleblower Retaliation by Senior Smithsonian Employee

OIG received a complaint alleging whistleblower retaliation by a senior Smithsonian employee. OIG determined that two positions, including the one occupied by the complainant, were eliminated due to budget constraints. Therefore, OIG found that the allegation was unsubstantiated.

Legislative and Regulatory Review

In accordance with the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, OIG monitors and reviews legislative and regulatory proposals for their impact on the Smithsonian’s programs and operations. Additionally, the Counsel to the Inspector General monitors congressional bills and issues relating to the Inspector General community. OIG also reviews draft Smithsonian policies for their impact on OIG operations.


Presentations on fraud awareness throughout the Smithsonian are a cornerstone of our efforts to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse and promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness at the Smithsonian.

OIG Special Agents also make these presentations at bi-weekly new employee orientations held by the Smithsonian's Office of Human Resources.

Involvement with Other Organizations

OIG is actively involved with the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), a group of federal inspectors general that promotes collaboration on integrity, economy, and efficiency issues that transcend individual agencies. The Inspector General serves on five CIGIE committees and is the chair of the Small/Unique OIG Group, a group of inspectors general who meet quarterly and exchange ideas and practices. The OIG Counsel leads the Smaller OIG Counsel Working Group and serves on the steering committee for the OIG Freedom of Information Act Working Group.

In addition, OIG staff participate in the Metropolitan Area Fraud Task Force, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Federal Audit Advisory Committee for Enterprise Technology Solutions, the Financial Statement Audit Network, and the Interagency Fraud Risk Data Mining Group.

Peer Review

Government Auditing Standards require audit organizations to undergo external peer reviews by independent reviewers every three years. In our most recent peer review, the OIG for Amtrak concluded that our quality control system was designed to meet government auditing standards and complied with those standards for the year ended March 31, 2017.

Download the September 2017 peer review report

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