What to Report to the Smithsonian OIG Hotline

Office of the Inspector General

The purpose of the Smithsonian OIG Hotline is to receive complaints of fraud, waste, or abuse in Smithsonian programs and operations, including mismanagement or violations of law, rules, or regulations by Smithsonian employees, contractors, or others affiliated with the Smithsonian.

Examples of Reportable Violations

  • Contract, procurement, and grant fraud
  • Bribery and acceptance of gratuities
  • Significant mismanagement and waste of funds
  • Conflict of interest
  • Travel fraud
  • Abuse of authority
  • Theft or abuse of Government property
  • Computer crime

Please be as specific as possible. Provide relevant names, dates and times, locations and, where appropriate, include the name of the contractor or grantee, and contract or grant numbers, and award dates.

Other Helpful Information to Provide

  • How you became aware of the problem
  • Efforts, if any, to correct the problem
  • Names of others affected by the problem
  • Statute or regulation violated
  • What you want the Smithsonian to do

Minor incidents — such as, minor time and attendance abuse, or misuse of government property — should be reported to appropriate program managers. Personnel matters involving requests for individual relief should be handled through the appropriate grievance process with management, and offices of personnel, equal employment and minority affairs. For other questions and concerns about the Smithsonian but not involving fraud, waste, or abuse in Smithsonian programs, go to the Smithsonian's contact webpage.

Recognizing Fraud

Fraud is a false representation about a material fact. It is any intentional deception designed to unlawfully deprive the Smithsonian Institution or the United States of something of value or to secure for an individual a benefit, privilege, allowance, or consideration to which he or she is not entitled.

Examples of Key Fraud Indicators

  • Unexplained entries of altered records
  • Unusually large amounts of payments in cash
  • Inadequate or missing documentation
  • Delays in producing requested documentation
  • Non-serial number transactions
  • Unauthorized transactions
  • Unusual patterns and trends in contracting and procurement
  • Unrealistic contract prices
  • Increase in claims for reimbursement
  • Offers of gifts, money, or other gratuities from contractors, grantees, or other individuals dealing with the government
  • Photocopies of documents where it is difficult to detect alteration
  • False or misleading information
  • Missing approval signatures
  • Lack of separation of duties
  • Discrepancies in handwriting
  • Inadequate monitoring by management
  • A history of impropriety
  • Lack of or out-of-date written policies and procedures, including those safeguarding assets
  • Lack of communication and/or support for ethical standards by management
  • Uncharacteristic behavior, including a person living beyond his/her means
  • Unaccountable funds
  • Uncharacteristic willingness to settle claims
  • Fictitious vendors
  • Unauthorized personnel with access
  • Overly complex organizational structure
  • High turnover rate
  • Reassignment of personnel
  • Termination of key personnel
  • "Missing" files, reports, data, and invoices (both electronic and paper)
  • Missing, weak, or inadequate internal controls
  • Management override of key internal controls