Senate Bill 21

152nd General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Lieu/Substituted 4/16/24
Adopted in Lieu of original; takes status of original

Bill Details

This Act establishes an independent and nonpartisan Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the position of the Inspector General. The OIG would be unique in state government as a non-political agency with a sole mission to investigate and prevent fraud, waste, mismanagement, corruption, and other abuse of governmental resources. The OIG will protect the health and safety of Delaware residents, assist in the recovery of misspent or inappropriately paid funds, and strengthen government integrity and the public trust in government operations by doing all of the following: 1. Investigating the management and operation of state agencies, including the General Assembly, to determine if there has been waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, corruption, or other abuse of governmental resources that is harmful to the public interest. 2. Coordinating with other investigative and law-enforcement agencies, including the Attorney General and the Auditor of Accounts (Auditor). 3. Recommending corrective actions and statutory revisions, and, if necessary, make referrals to other law-enforcement agencies. 4. Providing reports to the Governor, Attorney General, and General Assembly, and these reports will be available to the public on the OIG website. The Inspector General will not duplicate the work of the Auditor, Attorney General, Public Integrity Commission, or other investigative or law-enforcement agencies and will work collaboratively, including through memoranda of understanding, with these agencies for the purposes of efficiency and coordination. Specifically, the Inspector General can be distinguished from these agencies as follows: • Under the generally accepted government auditing standards in the Yellow Book produced by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, both financial and performance audits are only designed to detect fraud, illegal activity, noncompliance, abuse, and waste. An auditor determines whether the subject matter meets criteria, reaches reasonable assurance, and follows directive standards. If an auditor detects fraud or other bad behavior, they must report it to an investigation agency. • The OIG will be an entirely independent investigation agency, charged with gathering evidence to identify the individual responsible for the bad behavior identified through an audit and prove that it occurred. For complaints the received from other sources, the OIG will investigate to determine if there is or has been bad behavior. In addition to proving instances of bad behavior, these investigations may also prove that an allegation is false or incorrect. • The OIG will not duplicate the work of existing ombudsperson offices because the OIG is primarily concerned with detecting and preventing fraud, waste, mismanagement, corruption, and abuse of governmental resources while ombuds programs are concerned with violations of the rights and treatment of specific populations. • If the OIG believes, based on an investigation, that there has been or continues to be significant problem regarding fraud, waste, mismanagement, corruption, or evidence of a crime, the Inspector General must report the finding to the Department of Justice (DOJ). If the DOJ does not take action on a referral, the OIG may pursue a civil action on behalf of the State. • The OIG will be unique in State government because the Inspector General is not elected and will be an entirely independent agency. The Inspector General will be selected through a process that requires a Selection Panel to provide 3 names to the Governor for consideration. The Governor will select a nominee from these 3 names for appointment as Inspector General and submit the nominee to the Senate for confirmation. Once confirmed, the Inspector General serves a term of 5 years. In addition, the DOJ is not responsible for providing legal advice, counsel, services, and representation to the OIG. In other states, the financial impact of investigations by the Office of Inspector General has exceeded the annual budget for that office by millions of dollars. Some examples of conduct that have been identified in states where an Inspector General has responsibilities similar to those under this Act include the following: • In Georgia, an agency administrator who faked multiple pregnancies, receiving 265 hours of leave for which she was not otherwise eligible to receive. • Massachusetts has recovered more than $245,000 from 13 former troopers within the State Police for overtime pay they received for hours they did not actually work. • In Indiana, a Department of Child Services worker was found to have falsified case notes regarding child welfare assessments. • In Louisiana, state agencies were found to have wasted more than $500,000 in non-refundable airline tickets that were allowed to expire and lose value. Under this Act, the selection process for the Inspector General begins upon enactment and the work of the Office of the Inspector General must begin upon the appointment and confirmation of an Inspector General or March 1, 2025, whichever occurs earlier. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
F/N (Complete) View PDF
You may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker to view linked documents.
Takes effect upon being signed into law

Bill Text

View HTML View PDF
You may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker to view linked documents.


AmendmentStatusIntroduction DatePrimary SponsorView Details

Committee Reports

DateCommittee# MembersFavorableOn Its MeritsUnfavorable 

Roll Calls

ChamberResultDateVote TypeYesNoNot VotingAbsentPDF

Actions History


Legislation Detail Feeds