Crime Definitions

Bribes and Gratuities

Bribery is an offer to give something of value with the intent that the recipient will do something improper or will fail to do something they should do within the authority of their position. This also includes organizations and programs receiving Federal funds (including Indian tribal governments).

Embezzlement of Government Funds

Unlawful conversion or misappropriation of any voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States.

Contract Fraud

Contract or bond fraud typically occurs when a bond, bid, proposal contract, guarantee, security, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing is intentionally falsified. This would include alterations, forgeries, or counterfeiting, etc., for the purpose of defrauding the United States.

Theft from Government Programs (Grant Fraud)

Theft from programs receiving Federal funds, including Indian tribal governments, that suffer loss of more than $5,000 through or due to embezzlement, theft, fraud, or conversion.

False Claims

A false claim is the presentation of a claim to any United States Government official or to any Department or Agency thereof for money, property, or services knowing that the claim is false, fictitious, or fraudulent. Examples of such claims are fraudulent travel vouchers, claims for payment for work performed on a contract when the work was not performed or completed, and/or claims by a Federal Government employee alleging that he/she was injured on the job.

Theft of Government Property

Theft of Government property is the embezzlement, stealing, or conversion of money, property, or thing of value of the United States or any Department or Agency thereof.

Significant Mismanagement and Waste of Funds

Mismanagement is a collective term of waste and abuse, such as extravagant, careless or needless expenditure of Government funds or the misuse of Government property resulting from deficient practices, systems or controls.

Standards of Conduct Violations

All employees are expected to adhere to certain standards of conduct, which if violated, could reflect on the Department. Such prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Official or moral misconduct (on or off duty);
  • Soliciting or accepting gifts from outside sources;
  • Alleged or suspected situations potentially affecting public confidence in the integrity of the Department;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Abuse of authority; and
  • Misuse of Government time, equipment, and information.

See the Handbook on Charges and Penalty Selection for Disciplinary and Adverse Actions for more details.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Violations

DOI employees in their official capacity are prohibited from personally or substantially participating in any matter in which they have a direct or indirect financial interest. DOI employees are also prohibited from negotiating for employment with any person or company in which they have an official interest.

Computer Fraud Abuse Act

Computer fraud includes anyone who knowingly accesses a computer without authorization, exceeds authorized access, obtains information from any Department or Agency of the United States to further an intended fraud, or to access prohibited sites such as pornographic Web sites.