Seal of Detroit Public Schools Community District Office of Inspector GeneralThe Office of Inspector General is an independent oversight function within the Detroit schools system whose purpose is to conduct investigations and audits to improve District operations, while ensuring transparency, accountability and integrity among employees, contractors and vendors doing business with the school district.

The OIG consists of two operational units: Investigations / Forensic Audits and Internal Audit.

Mission Statement

The Office of Inspector General promotes integrity and credibility in the District by conducting investigations, audits and reviews to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, as well as identify opportunities for improving efficiency and effectiveness of internal controls.

Vision Statement

The Inspector General and OIG staff shall work with the following set of values in mind:

  1. PROFESSIONALISM: OIG staff shall conduct themselves in a professional manner and shall strive to be honest, objective and work to maintain a high level of credibility with the DPSCD leadership, the Board, employees, students and the general public. We shall make ourselves accessible, approachable and reliable.
  2. TIMELY & ACCURATE: The OIG shall focus on delivery of significant, timely, and useful information for District stakeholders and the general public. We shall strive to make our reports accurate, clear, convincing, objective, fair and constructive.
  3. RELATIONSHIPS: OIG staff shall maintain working relationships with other DPSCD staff, departments and schools. In the course of performing their duties, OIG staff shall treat each other and others outside of the department with consideration, dignity and respect. Furthermore, the OIG shall maintain active partnerships and liaisons with external law enforcement organizations that provide assistance in performance of our mission.
  4. DEDICATION & HARD WORK: OIG staff shall endeavor to make efficient use of their time through planning, organization and hard work. We shall always strive to remain focused and dedicated to our mission; and in so doing, strive to improve our knowledge, skills and abilities of fraud investigation and auditing through training, continuing education and networking with peers in similar industries.
  5. VALUE ADDED: The OIG will continue to aggressively pursue ongoing investigations and new allegations of waste, fraud and abuse; as well as identify areas of vulnerability and potential asset and monetary loss to the District. Those found responsible for wrongdoing will be held accountable for their actions; and in so doing, DPSCD will earn back the public’s trust in our school system.

To learn more about some of the OIG’s work, review the Annual Reports below.

Investigations / Forensic Audits

Investigations / Forensic audits are conducted based on allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest. Complaints may be filed by anyone, via the OIG’s confidential fraud hotline and email; involving the areas of Theft, Payroll Fraud, Contractor Fraud, Vendor Fraud, Ethics Violations, Mismanagement, Unauthorized Employment, Abuse, Waste and Misappropriation of District assets. As result of OIG investigations, District employees found to have engaged in wrongdoing have been referred for internal discipline and/or prosecution.

Internal Audits

Internal audits aim at evaluating the effectiveness of the District’s activities by identifying potential risk and providing assurance services designed to add value and assist management in implementing process improvement opportunities throughout the Detroit schools system. All internal audits are conducted and reported on in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) promulgated by the U.S. Comptroller General; and the Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

District administrators may request internal audit services by completing an Audit Request Services Form.


Annual Reports

News & Updates

Sentencing of Carolyn Starkey-Darden on 3/31/2017, Program Fraud charges

Former DPS Employee, Carolyn Starkey-Darden, 71, will spend 18 months in prison for getting almost $1 million in federal grant money from 2005 to 2012 by submitting fraudulent invoices for tutorial services that were never given to students. The School District’s Office of Inspector General, in collaboration with the Detroit FBI, investigated this matter in 2011.  Carolyn Starkey-Darden was sentenced in US District Court on 3/31/2017. (News media article)

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Judge Rhodes’ statement after Buendia verdict

Statement from Judge Rhodes: “The United States Attorney’s successful prosecution of former Detroit Public School’s principal, Josette Buendia, found guilty on all three counts of Federal Program Fraud is a triumph for all DPSCD stakeholders, and underscores our shared commitment to hold all District employees accountable when engaged in criminal activity. The District will remain vigilant and focused on instilling integrity among all its employees as we maintain our focus on academic excellence for our students

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News archive for the Office of the Inspector General