NASA’s Office of Investigations

Hi, I’m Jim Ives, Assistant Inspector General
for Investigations at NASA’s Office of Inspector General. Throughout its more than 50-year history,
NASA has been at the forefront of human and robotic exploration of the Earth, moon, and
beyond. These efforts have resulted in numerous scientific discoveries and innovations. In advancing its multi-faceted mission, NASA
devotes approximately 80 percent of its annual budget to contracts, grants, and cooperative
agreements – a figure that could reach over $15 billion by the end of September. Given
the size of its expenditures, the Agency must guard against fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. This is where the Office of Investigations
comes in: our goal is to help detect and prevent fraud and abuse, promote economy and efficiency
in NASA programs, and investigate for possible criminal prosecution those who improperly
or illegally use NASA resources. Our Special Agents operate with full law enforcement
authority to make arrests, carry weapons, and execute search warrants in the course
of their duties. In addition to law enforcement officers, our staff includes investigative
auditors, computer forensic examiners, and support personnel resident at NASA Centers
across the country. We investigate matters involving individuals
or companies who have stolen from the Government, misused NASA funds for personal gain, or otherwise
abused the public’s trust. Our cases involve public corruption, bribery and kickbacks,
contract and grant fraud, product substitution, counterfeit parts, and export control violations.
We refer our findings to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution or to NASA
management for administrative action. In fiscal year 2015, our investigative efforts
resulted in: * 30 indictments and criminal informations,
* 29 convictions, * 34 sentencings and pretrial diversions,
* 10 civil settlements and judgments, * 90 referrals to the Department of Justice,
* 20 recommendations to management for disciplinary action,
* 12 recommendations to management for program improvements, and
* 33 suspension and debarments. In addition, more than $86.4 million was recovered
in judicial and administrative forums, with more than $10.3 million going directly back
to NASA. Both Federal law and NASA policy require Agency
employees who observe criminal activity, misconduct, or mismanagement to report it to the OIG.
We offer several ways to contact our office, including in-person conversations with OI
Special Agents, telephone and e-mail hotlines, fax, and regular mail. (Below chart will serve
as graphic). The Inspector General Act protects Government
employees who provide information to the OIG from retaliation by their employers. Other
Federal laws and regulations provide similar protection for contractor employees. To learn more about our office and mission,
please visit

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