DEP’S OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL WORKING TO RECEIVE STATEWIDE REACCREDITATION

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2012

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

DEP’S OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL WORKING TO RECEIVE STATEWIDE REACCREDITATION

~Accreditation Team invites public comments~

TALLAHASSEE –The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Inspector General Internal Investigations Section is undergoing a Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation assessment to retain state level accreditation, which was originally achieved in 2009. The DEP OIG was one of the first Inspector General investigative sections to achieve initial accreditation and is the first to go through the reaccreditation review process. The reaccreditation assessment will examine all aspects of OIG’s Internal Investigations Section, including looking at policies and procedures, management, operations and support services.  
“The Office of the Inspector General is dedicated to maintaining DEP’s accountability, efficiency and integrity as well as ensuring that the people of Florida are receiving fair value for their tax dollars,” said Candie M. Fuller, DEP Inspector General. “We are excited to participate in this assessment and look for ways to improve our services so we can better respond to issues and concerns about departmental practices and policies.”
As part of the assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team. A copy of the standards is available through the Commission’s website and the public is encouraged to submit comments. Citizens looking to provide public comment can do so by visiting the Commission’s accreditation website at www.flaccreditation.org  or by writing to the Commission at Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida, 32302, or email to info@flaccreditation.org. A team of assessors from the Commission will conduct an on-site assessment at the OIG in June.
The OIG has to comply with 42 standards in order to be reaccredited by the Commission. All of the standards are mandatory, such as requiring that investigative staff abide by a code of ethics, staff establish and follow procedures for the release of information to the public in accordance with Florida Statutes and members, including the Inspector General or designee and adhere to strict guidelines when conducting internal investigations of agency employees. 
The Commission’s Assessment Team will consist of Team Leader, Major (Ret) Gary Robinson of the Port St. Lucie Police Department and Mr. Ron Tudor of the Florida Department of Health, Office of Inspector General. Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the DEP is granted reaccredited status. The DEP OIG’s reaccreditation, if approved, will be for a three-year term.