General

What is the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) mission?
OIG is an independent, nonpartisan oversight agency whose mission is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity in the administration of programs and operation of City government.

How does OIG achieve its mission?
OIG achieves its mission through:

  • Administrative and criminal investigations
  • Audits of City programs and operations
  • Reviews of City programs, operations, and policies

From these activities, OIG issues reports of findings and recommendations that ensure City officials, employees, and vendors are held accountable for the provision of efficient, cost-effective, government operations. OIG further seeks to prevent, detect, identify, expose, and eliminate waste, inefficiency, misconduct, fraud, corruption, and abuse of public authority and resources.

What is OIG’s jurisdiction?
OIG has oversight of all City employees, elected officials (the Mayor, Aldermen, the City Clerk, and the City Treasurer), appointed officials, and contractors and vendors who provide goods and services to the City. OIG also has jurisdiction over any sister agency pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement authorized by the City Council.

What makes OIG different from other City departments?
OIG operates separate and apart from the rest of City government. It does not operate under the direction of the Mayor or any other official or component of City government, under leadership with a legal defined term separate from all elected officials, and with a budget protected by law to prevent retaliation by those over whom it exercises its investigative and audit authority.

What are the powers and duties of OIG?
OIG derives its authority and mandate from the OIG Ordinance, which provides authority to (among other things):

  • Investigate allegations of wrongdoing, audit, or review City programs to identify inefficiency, waste and potential for misconduct, and hold public hearings as appropriate.
  • Issue subpoenas for testimony or documents relevant to an investigation.
  • Monitor and audit City employment actions under the Hiring Plan and conduct inquiries into allegations of non-compliance with the Hiring Plan.

What are the different sections of the OIG, and what do they do?

  • Audit and Program Review, which evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of the operations of City’s agencies and programs.
  • Investigations, which conducts investigations into allegations of criminal activity, fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Compliance, which monitors trends and patterns across City departments to identify potential equity and inclusion deficiencies; reviews and audits key processes in the City of Chicago’s hiring plans; and receives and investigates complaints regarding the hiring process.
  • Public Safety, which conducts inspections, evaluations and reviews of operations and actions of the Chicago Police Department, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and the Chicago Police Board.

The work of these sections is additionally supported by a Legal section made up of Assistant Inspector Generals who provide legal counsel to each of the aforementioned sections, and a Center for Information Technology and Analytics which provides technical forensic and data analytical services and manages OIG’s structural and operational IT infrastructure.

How is the Inspector General appointed?
The Inspector General (IG) is selected by the Mayor from a list of candidates provided following a national search conducted by a blue-ribbon panel, and subject to the approval of the City Council following a public hearing. The IG’s term runs independent of the term of the Mayor and City Council.

Can the IG be removed from office prior to the expiration of the four-year term?
The IG may be removed prior to the expiration of the four-year term only “for cause” and subject to a City Council hearing and majority vote.

How is the Inspector General held accountable?
The IG and OIG are held accountable by subjecting its work to public and City Council scrutiny by publishing its work to the extent allowed by law and by subjecting itself to a periodic external peer review by a national oversight association which independently audits and publicly certifies OIG’s actions, policies, and practices.

How are funds appropriated to OIG?
OIG has a legally protected budget to assure its work and independence cannot be impacted through retaliatory diminution of its budget. This takes the form of an ordinance-mandated budget floor under which the OIG must receive no less than 0.14% of the total annual City budget.

Are OIG’s investigations confidential?
By law, OIG investigatory files and reports are confidential and shall not be divulged except to law enforcement entities or appropriate officials in the context of cases where it has found violations of regulations, policy or law warranting disciplinary action.

Are City departments required to respond to OIG’s disciplinary recommendations?
City departments are generally required to respond to OIG disciplinary recommendations within 30 days (which may be extended by request for no more than 30 additional days).

Which City employees have a duty to cooperate with OIG?
All City officials, employees, departments, agencies, contractors, subcontractors, licensees, and applicants for certifications must cooperate with OIG in any investigation or hearing.

Are City employees responsible for reporting the wrongdoing of other City workers?
The law requires every City employee to report wrongdoing of which they are aware to OIG. Failure to report wrongdoing may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

What does the Center for Information Technology and Analytics (CITA) do?

  • Analytics: Compiling, cleaning, and transforming large data sets into information, statistical models, trends, predictions, and analyses that enable OIG to develop investigative leads, conduct citywide audits and program reviews, and monitor citywide hiring practices by supporting data-driven decisions in order to drive change to increase efficiency and effectiveness within City government.
  • Compiling large data sets to develop cases, conduct citywide program reviews and audits, and monitor citywide hiring practices.
  • Database Management: creating, retrieving, updating and managing data.
  • Forensics: eDiscovery and computer forensics, which consists of imaging hard drives, optical media, external hard drives, and flash drives, as well as other electronic storage devices. Forensics is usually performed on any of the mentioned formats when there is suspicion that a City employee may be committing fraud, discrimination, sexism, financial crimes, or any other accusation that may go against City policies and procedures.
  • Infrastructure and Security: managing the office infrastructure and monitoring and preventing any intrusions, attacks, or exploits that may cause a shut down or disconnection.
  • IT Support: software and hardware support, re-imaging computers, and day-to-day server patching and monitoring to ensure there is no down time for server repairs and failure.
  • Web Development: building and deploying small, lightweight applications designed to encourage storing information on City servers instead of desktop files.