Welcome to the OIG . . .
A Message from the Inspector General
It is with much gratitude to the voters of Baltimore City that I present the first Independent Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General Annual Report to the citizens and employees of Baltimore City. It was the people who voted overwhelmingly on November 7, 2018 to make the OIG an Independent office within City government. Yet, some still ask, what is an Inspector General? My answer is . . . An Inspector General is an Independent nonpartisan arbiter of truth who promotes efficiency in government programs.
This past year, public input has been crucial to our mission. Your complaints to the OIG Hotline were the foundation of our success. These complaints have risen from 70 a year to almost 70 a month. We are always grateful when our office is contacted to pursue the truth in any matter. Even when we determine a complaint falls outside our purview, the OIG strives to inform the complainant where to go or what other avenues to pursue to obtain relief.
Community OIG outreach is constant and employee training about the OIG starts at New Employee Orientation. I personally speak to incoming City employees and give each a hotline card to keep in their wallet in order to call in instances of concerns.
The members of the OIG team take public trust and the responsibility to protect it as the mission and backbone of the office. In order to be an effective fiscal watchdog, our unity with other law enforcement partners such as the FBI, IRS and MD State Prosecutor is critical as it allows the OIG to continue to strive to maintain an honest City government.
As I described in my first report last year, I consider the position of Inspector General that of the “People’s Investigator.” My team is proud of all we accomplished in 2019 with documented savings of over a million dollars, but we are still moving forward.
There is an ironclad commitment to help Baltimore City and the people. The OIG works diligently to help the people have an avenue to successfully fight financial fraud, waste, and abuse in our government.
With sincere gratitude,
Isabel Mercedes Cumming
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the City of Baltimore was authorized by Executive Order, which was signed by Mayor Martin O’Malley on July 27, 2005. In 2018 that bill was introduced to establish OIG Independence. As a change to the Charter of Baltimore City - the amendment, Article X, appeared on the ballot. On November 7, 2018, the citizens of Baltimore City overwhelmingly approved the ballot amendment! The vote made the Office of the Inspector General independent and the amendment received the highest number of affirmative votes of all proposed amendments on the ballot with 83%! This Independence ensures accountability, transparency and integrity in government without political influence or pressure as mandated by the citizens.
The Mission of the Office of the Inspector General is to promote accountability, efficiency and integrity in City government. One way that we carry out that mission is by investigating complaints of fraud, waste and abuse. The OIG will consider all complaints of fraud, waste and abuse involving:
- Any City elected official;
- Any City employee;
- Any member of a board or commission established or governed by the City Charter, City Code, or an executive order issued by the Mayor;
- Any City contractor or person negotiating a contract with the City;
- Any person seeking certification to provide goods or services to the City; or;
- Any external recipient of City funds, benefits, or services.
Article X states that all municipal officers and City employees shall promptly provide to the Inspector General any information, document, report, record, account or other material requested by the Inspector General in connection with any formal investigation.
The Inspector General may, issue a subpoena, to require any person to appear under oath as a witness; or require the production of any information, document, report, record, account, or other material. The Inspector General may enforce any subpoena issued pursuant to this subsection in any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Office of the Inspector General
City Hall, Room 635
100 North Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202