New York City Department of Investigation

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Department of Investigation
Department overview
Jurisdiction New York City
Key document

The New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) is the law enforcement agency of the government of New York City[1] that serves as an independent and nonpartisan watchdog for New York City government. Established in 1873, it is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the country.


Major functions include investigating and referring for prosecution cases of fraud, corruption, and unethical conduct by City employees, contractors, and others who receive City money or do business with the City. The DOI is also charged with studying agency procedures to identify corruption hazards and recommending improvements in order to reduce the City’s vulnerability to fraud, waste, and corruption. DOI also investigates the backgrounds of persons selected to work in decision-making or sensitive City jobs, and conducts checks on companies and their principals to help agencies determine if they are companies that can be awarded City contracts.

DOI is empowered to issue subpoenas, take testimony under oath, and issue reports of its investigative findings. DOI can forward its findings to federal and state prosecutors, which can result in arrests. It can also refer its findings to the City's Conflicts of Interest Board, and other agencies who make disciplinary or other administrative decisions. Under the City Charter, DOI serves as the investigative arm of the City's Conflicts of Interest Board.[2]

DOI currently has oversight of about 300,000 City employees in 45 City agencies; dozens of Boards and Commissions; the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District, which monitors the Department of Education's 135,000 employees; the Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Housing Authority; and, as of 2014, the independent Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department (OIG-NYPD).


The DOI was founded in 1873 as the Office of the Commissioners of Accounts as a result of the Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall scandals.

In 1938, as the result of a Charter revision, the agency's name was changed to the Department of Investigation.[3]


The DOI Commissioner is a Mayoral appointee, but must be confirmed by the City Council. To remove the DOI Commissioner, the Mayor has to state the reasons in writing and provide an opportunity for the Commissioner to respond publicly.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York City Charter § 801; "There shall be a department of investigation the head of which shall be the commissioner of investigation. [...]"
  2. ^ Chapters 34 and 68 of the New York City Charter
  3. ^ Rogues, Rascals, & Heroes. p. 32. 
  4. ^ Section 31 of the New York City Charter

External links[edit]