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OIG Investigative Priorities

Investigative Priorities

Our top investigative priorities involve crimes that affect public safety, fraud schemes that significantly impact DOT funds, impact consumer protections and Departmental programs and operations, as well as employee integrity violations.

Transportation Safety Investigations

The goal of these investigative operations is to enhance DOT’s transportation safety goals by investigating crimes where death or serious bodily injury has or is likely to occur. These types of investigations typically involve parties that egregiously violate DOT’s safety regulations and statutes. Our investigations—and resulting prosecutions—are separate but complementary to the regulatory enforcement programs of DOT’s Operating Administrations. The availability of criminal sanctions sends a message to violators who consider regulatory/civil penalties as a cost of doing business. Within this priority are three sub-areas:

  • Aviation safety investigations typically involve counterfeit or substandard aircraft parts, falsified aircraft and aircraft parts maintenance records, and false certifications involving pilot and mechanic licensing and maintenance records.
  • Motor carrier safety investigations include falsified drivers’ hours-of-service logs, fraudulently obtained commercial drivers’ licenses, falsified truck or bus maintenance records, and fraudulent testing of commercial drivers for drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Hazardous materials investigations concern the illegal and undeclared shipment of hazmat in all modes of transportation.

Procurement and Grant Fraud Investigations

The goal of these investigations is to protect the loss of Federal transportation dollars by investigating fraud by grantees, grant recipients, and DOT contractors. In addition, they help ensure a level economic playing field for American workers and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) in the distribution of Federal transportation funds. Fraud typically seen in DOT procurements and grants includes allegations of bribery and corruption, bid rigging, false claims, labor and materials over-charging, DBE fraud, and product substitution. OIG’s Office of Investigations also has a proactive fraud awareness and education outreach program.

Employee Integrity Investigations

The goal of these investigations is to promote program integrity by investigating serious DOT employee misconduct. These investigations address violations involving DOT employees, such as time and attendance fraud, misuse of Government property or funds, conflicts of interest, ethics violations, and other prohibited actions.

Public Interest Investigations

These investigations aim to address issues that directly impact the public or OIG’s law enforcement partners and also promote improvements to DOT’s programs. They include unmanned aerial systems (UAS), lasers, household goods/moving companies fraud, and medical certificate fraud related to both commercial driver’s licenses and airmen certificates.