FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About the Office of the Ohio Inspector General
 
 
The Answers
 
The function of the Inspector General’s Office is to investigate allegations of wrongful acts or omissions committed within the executive branch of state government.
 
You should contact the Inspector General’s Office whenever you suspect or witness a wrongful act or omission by a state agency or official under our jurisdiction.
 
A complaint may be filed with this office in writing; preferably, on one of our complaint forms.
 
Under certain circumstances, the Inspector General’s Office may be able to provide you confidentiality. In addition, there are provisions under Ohio law to protect employees from retaliation under certain circumstances. You should contact a private attorney for more information.
 
Complaint forms can be obtained in three ways. You may contact our office, and we will mail a complaint form to you. If you have access to a fax machine, a complaint form can be sent to you. In addition, a complaint form may be downloaded from this website, which can be completed and returned to our office by email.
 
We often receive inquiries from individuals asking how long it takes to complete a particular investigation. Unfortunately, a specific time period cannot be provided. Many factors influence the time period to thoroughly complete an investigation; such as, the nature of the allegations, the number of interviews needed to be completed, the complexity of the case, whether the case is undergoing a criminal investigation by law enforcement, and various other issues.
 
All records pertaining to an active investigation are considered confidential and not subject to public release. However, once an investigation is closed, some records may be subject to review pursuant to Ohio’s public records laws. Generally, the complaint form is a public record once an investigation is closed. If confidentiality is granted to someone, it is the inspector general's policy not to release his or her name unless compelled to do so by a court of law.
 
The Office of Inspector General has jurisdiction over all state agencies and state employees within the executive branch of state government. This includes state universities and state medical colleges but not state community colleges. Also specifically excluded from the Office's jurisdiction are the Ohio General Assembly, any Ohio court, the offices of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, their staff and employees.
 
The complainant will receive written notification of that fact. Whenever possible, we will refer the complainant to the appropriate agency or organization that may be able to provide assistance.
 
No, the Inspector General’s Office is not a law enforcement organization (e.g., we do not have power of arrest). However, any unlawful or criminal conduct discovered during the course of an investigation will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement entity or prosecutor's office.
 
The inspector general and any of his appointed deputies may issue subpoenas requiring the appearance of anyone for questioning and the production of any books, records, or other documents. Also, the inspector general and any of his deputies may appear at will before any state agency under its jurisdiction or entity doing business with the state and question any individual or secure anything necessary in furtherance of an investigation. The inspector general and any of his deputies may administer oaths prior to questioning.
 
A report of an investigation is available to the public at the conclusion of the investigation by the Inspector General’s Office.
 
You may obtain a copy of any report of investigation by contacting our office. You may also download copies of some reports of investigation from our web page. If you do not see a report on our web page, please contact our office for assistance.
 
The Ohio Inspector General has jurisdiction over the executive branch of government, and is limited to those entities that fall under the authority of the governor. The Legislative Inspector General has jurisdiction over the legislative branch of government under the authority of the Ohio General Assembly.
 
By Ohio statute, the inspector general must issue an annual report summarizing the activities of the Inspector General’s Office during the previous calendar year. Copies of the inspector general’s annual report are submitted to the governor and members of the Ohio General Assembly. The Inspector General’s Office also provides copies of the annual report to the public upon request. The annual report is released no later than the first day of March for each calendar year. Annual reports from previous years are available for review via this website.
 
Yes, the Inspector General’s Office is a state agency created by the Ohio General Assembly. The laws governing this office can be found on this website.
 
Call our office at (614) 644-9110 or toll-free at 1-800-686-1525. You may also email us at oig_watchdog@oig.ohio.gov.