In compliance with the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 (5 U.S.C. app.), the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established in 1989, as an independent and objective organization within the FTC.
Under the Inspector General Act, the OIG is responsible for conducting audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the FTC. Audits are conducted for the purpose of finding and preventing fraud, waste and abuse and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness within the agency. OIG investigations seek out facts related to allegations of wrongdoing on the part of FTC employees and individuals or entities having contracts with or obtaining benefits from the agency.
Individuals who wish to file a complaint about the business practices of a particular company or entity, or allegations of identity theft, deceptive advertising practices or consumer fraud should file a complaint with the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Complaints to the OIG from the public or from an FTC employee can be made anonymously. The identity of an FTC employee who reports waste or wrongdoing to the OIG will be protected from disclosure consistent with provisions of the Inspector General Act. In addition, the Inspector General Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act prohibit reprisals against employees for complaining to or cooperating with the OIG.
The OIG is required by law to prepare a semiannual report summarizing its audits and investigations during the immediately preceding six-month period. The report is sent to the FTC Chairman, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and FTC’s appropriating and authorizing committees. This dual reporting requirement facilitates and ensures the independence of the Office.