The agency overseeing the regulating and inspection of oil and natural gas rigs has created a new online and telephone hotline for reporting misconduct and unethical behavior by both agency and industry employees.

Such allegations can be reported to www.boemre.gov/iru or by calling (877) 440-0173 or (202) 208-5646. The Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General also may investigate the allegations, according to the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), which is the successor to the Minerals Management Service.

In one of his first steps in reform the agency, BOEM Director Michael Bromwich said he established an Investigations and Review Unit (IRU), a team of prosecutors, FBI agents and enforcement officials to "promptly and credibly respond" to allegations and evidence of misconduct and unethical behavior.

"The creation of the IRU and the launch of this hotline are critical steps in our work to reform this agency. We will take reported actions of misconduct, either within BOEM or by industry, very seriously and will investigate these actions promptly and aggressively," he said.

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