You can find FEMA's new manual and directive for Administrative Investigations on line by going to the Current Directives and Manuals page.
The vast majority of FEMA employees provide dedicated service to achievement of the Agency's mission. However, there are circumstances in which allegations of employee misconduct require investigation. FEMA's new manual and directive for Administrative Investigations fills a long-term void in this agency's procedures for investigating misconduct in a legally sufficient and timely manner. This void impeded FEMA's ability to ensure accountability and integrity throughout the agency.
With the publication of these two documents, FEMA has standardized procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of misconduct. The investigative procedures are designed for use by those individuals appointed to perform investigations, regardless of their level of formal investigative training, empowering them to investigate in a manner that is consistent with the law, the rights of employees, and the agency's need to take prompt and fair corrective action.
FEMA Directive 123-19 clarifies the respective roles of the Office of the Chief Security Officer, Office of Chief Counsel, and Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, in the investigation of alleged misconduct. It provides a process by which representatives of these offices meet regularly to decide when to begin an Administrative Investigation, to coordinate their advice to supervisors, and to decide how to proceed with the appointment of an Investigating Official, who may be a supervisor or other assigned employee within the alleged offender's office, a senior government employee, an investigator within the FEMA OCSO, or an employee of OCCHCO's Labor and Employee Relations Section. Key things you need to know about this directive:
- Establishes policies for reporting misconduct to OIG, OCSO, OCCHO, and managers.
- Establishes three types of Administrative Investigations (Independent, OCSO, and Managerial Inquiries).
- Clarifies who appoints the Investigating Official for each type, how findings are reported, and who is responsible for acting on findings.
FEMA Manual 123-19-1 provides a detailed explanation of the legal and procedural rights and responsibilities of Investigating Officials, employees, and witnesses. It explains how Investigating Officials can conduct investigations in a manner that is efficient, complete, timely, and fair. This guidance will help FEMA supervisors take full advantage of the professionalism of their employees. This will also help FEMA build and sustain a culture of transparency, integrity, and accountability. Key things you need to know about this manual:
- Designed for use by persons without formal training.
- Explains how to collect and evaluate evidence in accordance with the law, the rights of employees, and the agency's need for prompt and conclusive resolution.
Leaders in MSB, OCCHCO, OCSO, and OCC are prepared to assist and advise you as a unified team when you encounter those regrettable, but inevitable, situations that require Administrative Investigations.