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Investigations

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) acts on behalf of the Commissioner of Education in conducting certain types of investigations involving the Department of Education. The following circumstances may warrant investigation by the OIG:

  • Employee misconduct
  • Allegations involving fraud, serious waste, or abuse. This may involve private schools participating in scholarship programs, vendors, or contractors doing business with the Department
  • Whistle-blower complaints
  • Matters involving law enforcement
  • Complaints within school districts or community colleges upon authorization by the Commissioner of Education
  • Other matters deemed necessary by the Inspector General

Some common investigations include allegations involving employee misconduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Examples of these types of investigations include the following:

  • Misuse of state property by utilizing equipment (computer, telephone/cell phone, copy/fax machine) to benefit an individual or private business
  • Operating a private business or conducting business for a private company while working on state time
  • Inappropriate e-mail or Internet usage
  • Falsification of travel documents
  • Falsification of a state employment application
  • Inappropriate or offensive jokes and/or comments of a sexual nature
  • Discrimination based on gender, age, race, or religion

Whistle-blower Complaints

Information as defined by Sections 112.3187, 112.3188, 112.3189, and 112.31895, Florida Statutes, are collectively referred to as the “Whistle-blower’s Act.” The intent of the Whistle-blower’s Act is to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against an employee who reports to an appropriate agency violations of law on the part of a public employer or independent contractor that create a substantial and specific danger to the publics health, safety, or welfare. The law is also intended to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against any person who discloses information to an appropriate agency alleging improper use of governmental office, gross waste of funds, or any other abuse or gross neglect of duty on the part of an agency, public officer, or employee.

The Whistle-blower’s Act also provides recourse for a reporting party if it is suspected that retaliatory action has been taken as a result of that party’s reporting activity. The Whistle-blower Act also provides that the name of the person disclosing such information shall be confidential and that the resulting investigation shall remain confidential until closure of the investigative file.

Certain criteria are required in order for a complaint to merit the Whistle-blower designation. All Whistle-blower complaints will be investigated in accordance with Sections 112.3187112.31895, Florida Statutes. The Office of the Chief Inspector General also coordinates the activities of the Whistle-blower’s Act and maintains a toll free Whistle-blower’s hotline at (800) 543-5353.

If you are aware of fraud, waste, abuse, or employee misconduct affecting the Department of Education, please report these matters to the OIG. You may contact the OIG by:

  • Telephone: 850-245-0403
  • Fax: 850-245-9419
  • Email:
  • Web site (look for the online complaint form)
  • Mail or In Person:
    325 West Gaines St, Suite 1201
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400