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With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), the Department of Energy (Department) will have new responsibilities and receive approximately $40 billion to foster various energy, environmental, and science programs and initiatives. As a result, the Office of Inspector General's oversight responsibilities will increase dramatically. As is the case with all Office of Inspector General work, its overarching goal is to ensure that the taxpayers' interests relating to the performance and results of the Recovery Act are protected. This is especially important given the size and scope of this legislation. Moreover, in recognition of the need for effective oversight to protect these interests, the Recovery Act includes the creation of the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board. The Department's Inspector General is a permanent member of this Board, along with nine other Inspectors General whose agencies are prime recipients of Recovery Act funds.
The Office of Inspector General has developed a strategy, consistent with the objectives outlined in the Recovery Act, to provide the most effective oversight possible with available resources. This strategy provides the opportunity for our office to aggressively account for dollars spent, pursue those who defraud the Department of Energy and protect the interests of the American taxpayers. To keep the public informed of our efforts the Office of Inspector General will be posting the results of its work regularly on this website.
Section 1553 of the Recovery Act extends whistleblower protection to employees who believe they are being retaliated against for reporting misuse of Recovery Act funds received by their non-Federal employers. Specifically, an employee of any non-Federal employer, such as a private company or a state or local employing agency, who reports waste, fraud or abuse connected to the use of Recovery Act funds may not be discharged, demoted or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for his or her disclosure. If you have a whistleblower complaint or retaliation complaint related to Department of Energy Recovery Act funds, please report it to the OIG hotline.