A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n Report on the Section 504 Self-Evaluation - May 1996

Office of Inspector General

Overview

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent departmental office (reporting directly to the Office of the Secretary) established to carry out audits, investigations and other activities to prevent fraud, waste and abuse and promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in Department programs and operations.

The OIG has three major organizational components and a staff consisting primarily of auditors and criminal investigators, although other professional and administrative jobs are represented. The Program and Operations Integrity Services is responsible for all investigative activities relating to the Department's programs and operations. The Program and Operations Improvement Services is responsible for all audit and other activities relating to improving the Department's programs and operations. The Planning, Analysis and Management Services (PAMS) is responsible for providing the OIG with information and analyses to support operational and strategic planning and other management functions; and coordinating with other components of the OIG to ensure the effective, efficient, and economic utilization of resources in the implementation of the integrated and business work plans. PAMS also maintains the Department's information and personnel security suitability programs and formulates and implements administrative policy for the OIG.

The OIG has its headquarters in the Mary E. Switzer Building in Washington, D.C. and maintains staff in a number of the Regional Offices.

OIG Evaluation: Program Accessibility

The services of the OIG are available to all OIG customers, colleagues in the Department, and the general public without regard to disability. There are limited circumstances in which a person with a disability may be restricted or excluded from participating as an employee of the OIG. A significant part of the OIG mission is to conduct and participate in audit and investigative activities. There could be circumstances during such activity where physical impairments at the field site (beyond the control of the OIG) could hinder or prevent a person with a disability from having complete accessibility.

Currently the OIG has the capability to provide some of its written products in a large print format and/or on computer disk. The OIG does not routinely caption its video presentations, and the Office reports that it has never received a customer request for such. The field offices would look to headquarters should they be faced with a customer need relative to visual communication access or if feasible would seek assistance from a regional office of the Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA). OIG headquarters would seek specific assistance from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) concerning an OIG customer with a visual disability requiring a specialized product. The OIG is aware of the Departmental source for sign-language interpreters. Currently the OIG Hotline, which is the primary telecommunications activity between the OIG and the public is accessible to hearing-impaired individuals by FIRS. No TTY is currently used with the Hotline, but the OIG plans to examine the feasibility of acquiring one.

The OIG is willing to accommodate any special needs on the part of those it deals with within the scope of its professional operations as well as those of the general public. However, such special needs have not been brought to the Office's attention either by colleagues in the Department, program participants or the general public. In view of this reality, and recognizing the severe budgetary restrictions facing the OIG, the Office has not taken a proactive position with respect to procuring expensive access-related equipment and services. An individual seeking a particular type of auxiliary aid or service may express his or her preference at the time the individual makes the request to the OIG. At this time, however, large print and computer diskette are the only auxiliary aids that the OIG reports it is capable of providing immediately. The OIG would work with OSERS/RSA to provide other auxiliary aids.

In regard to evacuation procedures, the OIG has an employee designated as the OIG safety official in an emergency evacuation of the buildings. This person or designated assistants act as "searchers" and "buddies" and are expected to look for and assist employees/visitors who are hard of hearing or deaf in the event of a fire or other emergency. The emergency warning systems are located by exit (stairwells) locations on each floor.

Existing Auxiliary Aids and Services

Specific OIG Services

Verbal Description
Available within the Principal Office

Braille
Available from the Department

Commonly Available Services

All Principal Offices have available the following auxiliary aids and services: Large Print, Sign Language, Interpreters, Paper and Pen, and the Federal Information Relay System (FIRS). This Principal Office recognized its ability to provide the following:
Sign Language Interpreters
Available from the Department

Pen and Paper
Available within the Principal Office

Large Print
Available within the Principal Office

Computer Diskette
Available within the Principal Office

Federal Information Relay System
Available from the Department

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