Office of Quality Compliance & Review
Who Are We?
The Office of Quality Compliance & Review (OQCR) was created in 1999, as a response to the historic Palumbo Brothers, Inc. construction fraud case. Its primary purpose was to increase fraud detection and deterrence. The recommendations to IDOT from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General included increasing construction oversight and implementing a system to independently test the accuracy of material weight tickets submitted by construction companies for reimbursement. With these recommendations in mind, OQCR developed a program of detection and deterrence to help ensure that the taxpayers are “getting what they are paying for.”
The OQCR is responsible for ensuring and monitoring, through systems of quality and compliance reviews and investigations, that Department contractors, vendors and employees are accountable, compliant and providing quality goods, services and products in accordance with all applicable policies, procedures, protocols and contractual provisions. The Office is also responsible for facilitating the implementation of intra- and inter- Office/Divisions program improvements.
OQCR’s duties and responsibilities are varied but all require the utmost trustworthiness, integrity and professionalism due to the sensitivity of the assignments. OQCR also conducts preliminary investigations of potentially criminal or administrative allegations to determine the appropriate referral to law enforcement agencies. In addition, OQCR conducts in-house investigations and provides support and training for IDOT employees in regards to identifying and reporting fraud and making good ethical decisions in the workplace. The Director of OQCR has been designated by the Secretary to serve as the liaison with law enforcement on IDOT related investigations and to serve as the Department’s alternate Ethics Officer at times when the designated Ethics Officer (Chief Counsel) is not available.
OQCR’s staff consists of experienced engineers, auditors and IT professionals who are tested individuals who have worked on high profile, complex investigations with Federal and State law enforcement agencies including USDOT Office of Inspector General, FBI and the US Attorney. OQCR is also fortunate to have former law enforcement officers,
seasoned engineers, certified fraud examiners, certified public
accountants and certified payment documentation reviewers.
As a public service, OQCR also produces the annual “IDOT Ethics in the Workplace Seminar”. The IDOT Ethics in the Workplace Seminars have been noted by the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General as the first of their kind in Illinois. The seminars are designed to guide and educate employees to the benefits of making good ethical decisions and the consequences of making bad decisions. These seminars have included guest speakers from government, industry and the media including noted author Scott Turow, former United States House of Representatives Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, former Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District, Charles Kocoras, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, and Christopher Kennedy, President, Merchandise Mart Properties to name a few.
The Office was assigned the additional responsibility of serving as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) oversight coordinator.
The Office monitored over 650 ARRA reviews of various types. Of those, the Office assisted in the administration of over 50 documentation compliance reviews, 15 labor hour documentation reviews and 90 independent weight checks on bituminous deliveries.
OQCR also performs unannounced site visits to non-ARRA
IDOT highway construction sites, bituminous plants, and to IDOT
operations facilities. OQCR worked with the IDOT Division of Highways and developed a monitoring system that provides information to OQCR and management as to the accuracy of materials delivery that are paid based on weight. The new quality and quantity verification system will be used on non-ARRA jobs as well.
Another one of OQCR’s primary responsibilities is receiving, recording, and analyzing allegations of wrong doing. OQCR receives a great number of allegations of wrongdoing each year. The allegations are received by OQCR from various sources including phone calls, mail, email, and referrals from various law enforcement agencies including the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General. OQCR is responsible for analyzing and documenting these allegations and ensuring they are handled professionally. This process often results in referrals to law enforcement agencies.