You Can Be Part of the Solution
Good government is everyone’s business. Anyone can help fight fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption in our County by reporting suspicious activity.
If you have a complaint or concerns involving a Nassau County agency, its employees, contracts, projects, or programs – or about any individual or entity that does business, or is seeking to do business, with the County – tell us about it. Your call, email, or letter could be the one that saves the County millions of dollars or helps put an end to abusive or wasteful practices.
Q: Who may file a complaint with the OIG?
A: Anyone, including Nassau County employees, companies that do business with the County, and members of the public.
Q: What kind of complaints does the OIG investigate?
A: Fraud, theft, waste of funds, abuse of resources or position, bribery, corruption, conflicts-of-interest, gifts from vendors, whistleblower reprisal, and serious misconduct or mismanagement affecting or involving the County of Nassau’s operations, programs, projects, contracts, or funds.
Please note that there are matters which the OIG does not investigate, including but not limited to:
- Complaints about a government other than Nassau County’s government. This includes complaints about towns, cities, villages, hamlets, and school districts, even if they are located within Nassau County, as well as complaints about agencies of the State of New York or the federal government.
- A determination or decision made by a Nassau County department pertaining to an individual case (for example: the denial of a license or permit, or an assessment of real property).
- A ruling (decision) of a court, even if the court or parties are in Nassau County.
- A dispute between private parties, even if the matter occurs within Nassau County.
- Individual personnel matters, employee grievances, or labor-management disputes.
Complaints not falling within the jurisdiction or focus of the OIG, or which otherwise would be more appropriately addressed elsewhere, may be referred by the OIG to other governmental entities, if applicable.
NOTE: If you or anyone else is in immediate physical danger or fears for their safety, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.
Q: Does the OIG investigate individuals or companies that conduct business with the County?
A: Yes. The OIG may investigate any individual or entity that either is doing business with Nassau County, receives funds from the County, or which, through the submission of a bid, proposal or application, expresses interest in doing business with the County.
Q: How do I file a complaint with the OIG?
A: A complaint can be registered with the OIG in multiple ways: via the online complaint form, email, fax, surface mail, in-person, or telephone.
Q: Can I request that my identity be kept confidential?
A: Yes. If you request confidentiality, we will not reveal your identity without your permission, unless required by law. You should also be aware that there are provisions of law that, under appropriate circumstances, protect employees from retaliation. If you believe that making a report to the OIG will place you at risk of retaliation, you should inform us of that as well.
Q: Do I have to identify myself if I make a complaint to the OIG?
A: No. You can remain anonymous in submitting an allegation to us. Note, however, that your information will be most useful if we have a way to contact you if follow-up questions are necessary. Information that is too vague or cannot be supported can result in closing your complaint without remedial action. If you remain anonymous, we also will not be able to acknowledge receipt of your complaint or later advise you if the matter is in open or closed status.
Q: What information should I include in my complaint?
A: Please provide as much information as you can. Information that is too vague or cannot be supported can result in closing your complaint without remedial action. Therefore, we encourage you to give us at least one way to contact you if we have questions or need more information. In any event, please be as specific as possible in explaining the nature and details of your complaint. You may use the following list as a guide to the information to include:
- If a project or contract is involved, identify it.
- When and where did the event happen? Give dates, times; location; facility; work unit, etc.
- Who engaged in the misconduct? Who else was involved?
- What exactly did he/she/they do?
- How do you know what you are reporting? Did you witness it? Hear about it from someone else?
- What proof exists to support or confirm your complaint?
- Who else witnessed it? Who else is aware of the wrongdoing?
- Who else has further information? What is their contact information?
- How was the fraud accomplished? How was the scheme concealed?
- How many times has it happened? How long has this situation existed?
- Who else have you reported this matter to? When? What action was taken?
- If there are, or have been, any legal proceedings (court actions) in the matter, please give details.
The above list is only a guide; you may wish to include other/additional information.
Q: What should I do if I acquire more information after I have submitted a complaint?
A: Any additional information you acquire after making your report to the OIG should be reported to us in a follow-up telephone call, email or letter.
Q: What happens after I submit a complaint or tip?
A: Appropriate action will be taken, as determined by the OIG. All complaints and tips received by the OIG are assessed to determine the appropriate disposition of each. Some complaints may result in the initiation of a preliminary inquiry or an investigation, audit, or other review. Some complaints may be closed based upon initial assessment or after preliminary inquiry determines no further action by the OIG is warranted. In some instances, such as where the matter falls outside the jurisdiction of the OIG or would be more appropriately addressed elsewhere, the OIG may refer the matter to an appropriate County department or other public agency for its action.
If the OIG needs further information from you, and you have provided a means by which the OIG can communicate with you, an OIG staff member will be in contact with you.
The OIG conducts confidential investigations. The OIG does not provide updates or information regarding what action(s) may have been taken on allegations reported to our office; nor necessarily confirm whether the OIG is conducting an investigation.
Q: What do the terms fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement mean?
A: Fraud is the misrepresentation of a material fact in order to obtain a payment or some benefit. Put another way, fraud is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
Waste is negligent, needless, careless or extravagant expenditure of County funds, incurring of expenses, or the misuse of County resources or property. Waste may result from improper or deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions.
Abuse is the intentional wrongful or improper use of County resources, which can include the excessive or improper use of a person’s County position, in a manner contrary to its rightful or legally intended use.
Mismanagement as used here, is when management action – or inaction – could adversely and significantly impact the County’s operations, programs, projects, or funds, or grossly deviates from the standard of care or competence that a reasonable person would follow.
Q: What is an example of a conflict-of-interest?
A: An example would be a County contracting or oversight official who has an undisclosed financial interest in a contractor, vendor or consultant, resulting in an improper contract award recommendation or inflated costs to the County.
Q: What is an example of fraud?
A: Fraud can take many forms. One example is where a supplier (vendor) misrepresents how much material was provided, or the type or quality of the goods it provided and billed, to the County. Fraud can include submitting false claims, making false statements, concealing material information, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information relating to procurement matters, and the offer, payment, or acceptance of bribes.
Q: What is an example of waste?
A: Waste can include extravagant, careless, or needless expenditure of County funds. An example would be causing County funds to be used to purchase replacement parts for old equipment that is being scrapped.
Q: What is an example of misconduct?
A: Examples include a County official or employee improperly using County resources for unauthorized purposes, or disseminating confidential information without proper authority to do so.
Q: What is an example of abuse?
A: Examples include a County official or employee improperly using his or her position (abuse of position) in order to benefit the interests of a family member, such as inducing the County to hire that person, or to award a contract to the family member’s business.