About the Office of Investigations
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 Smithsonian's programs and operations. The Office of Investigations 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.
Summaries of Selected Closed Complaints and Cases
Violation of Time and Attendance Rules
OIG determined that an employee violated SD 103, Smithsonian Institution Standards of Conduct, and SD 212, Federal Personnel Handbook, Chapter 630, Leave Administration, by not reporting 32 hours as annual or sick leave, which had a value of $955. The Smithsonian issued a letter of counseling to the employee and the employee’s timecard was corrected by the unit to reflect the use of 32 hours of leave.
Violation of Smithsonian Standards of Conduct
OIG determined that an employee violated SD 103 by accepting free moving services worth $1,000 from a former employer who was also a Smithsonian contractor⎯and therefore a prohibited source—without consulting an ethics counselor or reporting the gift in the Conflict of Interest Declaration. The Smithsonian missed its deadline to propose adverse action against the employee.
Violation of Smithsonian Standards of Conduct by Senior Employee
OIG determined that a senior employee at a museum violated SD 103 by (1) failing to disclose the financial benefit of a housing arrangement on the Annual Confidential Financial Disclosure Report and (2) using Smithsonian staff for a paid outside activity. The Smithsonian verbally counseled the senior employee.
Separately, the senior employee did not disclose a potentially relevant personal collection. Smithsonian collection policy requires collecting units to develop guidance for its employees’ disclosure of existing personal collections under certain circumstances. However, the museum had not established this guidance. Such disclosure enables Smithsonian management to make informed decisions about whether actions taken by their employees may create a perceived or actual conflict of interest. The Smithsonian has initiated a review to determine whether all collecting units have the required guidance for these disclosures.