Department of Veterans Affairs va handbook 0700 Washington, dc 20420 Transmittal Sheet administrative investigations



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DRAFT

VA HANDBOOK 0700



Department of Veterans Affairs VA Handbook 0700

Washington, DC 20420 Transmittal Sheet

ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATIONS

1. REASON FOR ISSUE: This Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Handbook establishes procedures to implement the objectives and requirements of VA Directive 0700, Administrative Investigations. It is intended to promote effectiveness and uniformity in the conduct and reporting of administrative investigations within VA, and to enhance the usefulness of investigative reports.
2. SUMMARY OF CONTENTS: This VA Handbook establishes operational requirements and procedures for convening, conducting, reporting, and reviewing administrative investigations. The appendices to this instruction provide definitions, work-aids and advisory materials.
3. RESPONSIBLE OFFICE: The General Counsel is responsible for the recertification and contents of this Handbook. Questions may be referred to Regional Counsel or to the Office of the General Counsel (023) as appropriate.
4. RELATED DIRECTIVE: VA Directive 0700, Administrative Investigations.
5. RESCISSIONS: None.


CERTIFIED BY:

John A. Gauss

Assistant Secretary for

Information and Technology


Distribution: RPC 6002



ANTHONY J. PRINCIPI

SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS




VA ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATIONS HANDBOOK

TABLE OF CONTENTS


GENERAL PROVISIONS 1

PURPOSE AND SCOPE 1

RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONVENING AUTHORITIES 1

General Responsibilities 1

Determining the Need for Administrative Investigations 1

Notice To Higher Authority of Convening Authority Involvement 2

Supervision, Coordination, and Support of AIBs 2

Certification of Completion and Follow-up Action. 2



Duties Of Members Appointed to Administrative Investigation Boards 2

WAIVER OF REQUIREMENTS 3

COORDINATION OF INVESTIGATIONS 3

DETERMINING THE NEED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATIONS 1

INTRODUCTION 1

incident Reports 1

Incident-Specific ReQUIREMENTS 1

CollectION OF INFORMATION TO DETERMINE NEED AND SCOPE OF investigation 2

Decision Factors 2

CONVENING ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATIONS 1

Timeliness of AI’s 1

Selecting AIB members and staff 1

Number of Members 1

Qualifications of Members 1

Staff Support 1

Legal Support 2

Arranging for Members and Staff from Other Sources 2

Designation and Functions of the AIB Chair 2

Charge LetterS 2

Purpose of the Charge Letter 2

Form of Charge Letters 2

Scope of the Investigation and Issue Identification 3

Authority to Administer Oaths 3

Authorizing Report in Summary Format 3

Requiring and Permitting Recommendations 3

Amending Charge Letters 4

Suspending and Terminating AIBs 4

GENERAL INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES 1

PLANNING 1

Collection of Evidence 1

Generally 1

Collection of Evidence from the Subject of an Investigation 1

Collection of Evidence from VA Employees 1

Collection of Evidence from Individuals Who Are Not VA Employees 2

Restrictions on Disclosure and Use of Information 2

Use of Specialized Investigative Procedures 3

Protection of Evidence and Record Keeping 3

Discovery of Matters Outside the Scope of Investigation 3

Release of Information 4

Action by the AIB on discovery of fraud, corruption, OR criminal activity 4

WITNESS INTERVIEWS 1

Forms of Testimony and Documentation Requirements 1

Requirement to Seek Sworn or Affirmed Verbatim Testimony 1

Administration of Oath or Affirmation 1

PROCEDURE FOR WITNESS INTERVIEWS 1

Witness Obligations and Protections. 1

Evidence From Patients Under Treatment At VA Health Care Facilities 2

Notice and Advice Regarding Witness Rights and Obligations 2

Mental Competency Issues 2

Requests for Assistance at Interviews 2

INVESTIGATION REPORTS 1

GENERAL 1

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT – STANDARD FORMAT 1

General Organization 1

Required Contents 1

Attachments 2

Optional contents 2

INVESTIGATION REPORT – SUMMARY FORMAT 4

Forwarding, Review, and CERTIFICATION OF Investigative Reports 5

FILING AND RETENTION 5

Retention Period 5

Investigative Reports and The Privacy Act 5

DEFINITIONS 1

1. Administrative Investigation (AI) 1

Administrative Investigation Board (AIB) 1

Affidavit, Declaration under 28 USC § 1746 1

Charge Letter 1

Convening Authority 1

General/Regional Counsel 1

Investigative Report (IR) 1

Issue 1

Material Evidence 1



Preliminary Inquiry 2

Scope 2


Subject of an Investigation 2

Sworn, Affirmed, Oath 2

Testimony 2

SAMPLE CHARGE LETTER 1

ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATION CHECKLIST 1

2. Learn about the case and your role in it. 1

Make initial administrative arrangements. 1

Identify issues and evidence. 2

Collect available documents and other evidence 2

Conduct witness interviews. 2

Write the report. 3

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE INVESTIGATIONS 1

3. The Role of the Investigator 1

Determining Issues for Investigation 1

Evidence and Analysis of Issues, Facts and Conclusions 2

Witness Interviews 4

Writing the Report 6



SAMPLE INVESTIGATIVE FILE INDEX 1

ISSUE ANALYSIS WORKSHEET 1

WITNESS PLANNING WORKSHEET 1

PROCEDURE / CHECKLIST FOR OBTAINING WITNESS TESTIMONY 1

4. Planning the Interview 1

5. Holding a Preliminary Interview 1

Procedure for Preparing Declarations under 28 USC 1746 1

6. Procedure for Holding a Recorded Testimonial Interview 2

Script / for Recorded Testimonial Interview 3

Conclude the Interview 3

Preparing Verbatim Transcripts 4



SUMMARY OF OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS RELATED TO WITNESSES 1

7. “Due Process” Rights Not Applicable to Administrative Investigations 1

VA Employees’ Obligation to Cooperate 1

Rights and Obligations Regarding Self-Incrimination 1

Privacy Act Requirements 1

Protection Against Retaliation for Truthful Testimony 3

Rights of Bargaining Unit Employees 3

Privileges 4



Providing Advice of Rights and Obligations 4

SAMPLE NOTICE OF WITNESS OBLIGATIONS, PROTECTIONS, AND PRIVACY ACT MATTERS 1

SAMPLE DESIGNATION OF ADVISOR / UNION REPRESENTATIVE 1

SAMPLE WITNESS DECLARATION / AFFIDAVIT 1

SAMPLE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT – SUMMARY FORMAT 1

SAMPLE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT –standard FORMAT 1

SAMPLE COMPLETION CERTIFICATE 11




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