The Office of Investigations investigates allegations of misconduct involving the programs and operations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Office of Investigations adheres to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency's Quality Standards for Investigations and applicable guidelines issued by the U.S. Attorney General.
The Office's investigations focus on allegations of wrongdoing and may address administrative, civil, and criminal violations of laws and regulations. The subject of an Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation can be any agency employee, contractor, or consultant, or any person or entity involved in alleged wrongdoing affecting the SEC's programs and operations.
If an investigation reveals evidence of criminal activity, the Office of Investigations refers the matter to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution or recovery of monetary damages and penalties. If the Office of Investigations finds evidence of misconduct, it forwards a report of investigation to the appropriate management officials for consideration of disciplinary or remedial action.
The Office of Investigations manages OIG's Hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to receive and process tips and complaints about fraud, waste, or abuse related to SEC programs and operations. The Hotline allows individuals to report their allegations to the OIG directly and confidentially.
The OIG also maintains the SEC Employee Suggestion Program, which was established under Section 966 of the Dodd-Frank Act, as a mechanism for SEC employees to make suggestions and to report waste, abuse, misconduct, or mismanagement within the agency. SEC employees may confidentially report information under this program.