DHHS OIG Investigating Generic Drug Prices

Posted on April17, 2015
Members of Congress have requested the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services look into increases in generic drug prices on the Medicaid drug rebate program. As the cost of prescription drugs increases, brand-named medicine prices have been debated, but not lawmakers want the OIG to look into generic prices as well. Lawmakers are concerned that generic drug prices are increases faster than the inflation rate. In November 2014, data showed "prices for generics…

SSA OIG Finds Benefit Loophole

Posted on April16, 2015
An audit from the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General found the agency was approving disability benefits for "hundreds of Puerto Ricans because they do not speak English, despite the fact that Puerto Rico is a predominantly Spanish-speaking territory." There is a rule to provide assistance to individuals in the United States who cannot read or speak English. The OIG found that this rule was being misapplied to allow benefits in the predominantly Spanish speaking country. The agency…

State Department IG Finds Top Contractors Discourage Whistleblowers

Posted on April10, 2015
An audit released by the State Department's inspector general reported "that all 30 of the State Department's largest contractors use confidentiality agreements or policies that can curtail the disclosure of information related to wrongdoing within the company." In 2012, the State Department paid these 30 contractors nearly $40 billion. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined a contractor with similar agreements in place $130,000. The contractors defended themselves by reporting that the agreements had never been enforced against potential whistleblowers.…

Illinois Executive IG Leaving Office

Posted on April09, 2015
Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza is leaving the agency this month. The Illinois OIG oversees "allegations of misconduct in the governor's office, 40 state agencies, and public universities." Meza has been in the position for over four-and-a-half years. Meza findings of political hiring wrongdoing plagued former Governor Pat Quinn during his unsuccessful bid for re-election During his time as Inspector General, Meza pushed for more findings and reports to be made public, although the General Assembly never agreed to the…

New NYPD OIG Releases First Annual Report

Posted on April03, 2015
The New York City Police Department Office of Inspector General has released its first annual report since the office was created in 2013. The report found that 150 complaints were received by the department in 2014. Of the 150 complaints, 93 were referred to other departments including NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Review Board. 50 of the remaining complaints were closed because "no further action was warranted." Many of the leaders involved in the set up of the…

Federal Trade Commission Appoints New IG

Posted on April01, 2015
Roslyn A. Mazer has been appointed as the Federal Trade Commission's new Inspector General. Mazer was previously the Inspector General for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. According to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, "her extensive experience will help to ensure that we continue to operate effectively in our important work on behalf of American consumers." Previous Inspector General Scott Wilson has retired. Read more at FTC.gov

DoD IG to Reissue Marine Corps Audit

Posted on March27, 2015
The Marine Corps received a clean financial audit at the end of 2013 covering 2012 from the Defense Department Inspector General. This was the first time a military service had passed the IG audit. The audit is being modified based on additional information regarding "U.S. Treasury suspense accounts that temporarily hold transactions so they do not reflect against a valid appropriation." Whether this information will negatively impact the audit remains to be seen, but there were Marine transactions in these…

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Fail to Implement OIG Recommendations

Posted on March25, 2015
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released a report finding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) neglected to implement 25 sets of "significant recommendations" from the OIG. The estimated financial impact on taxpayers and beneficiaries is $24 billion. The recommended actions "would likely improve quality and patient safety, program integrity, financial and grants management, and contractor management" according to the report. Some of the recommendations that have not been implemented date back…

Push to Create OIG in Connecticut

Posted on March18, 2015
Connecticut could be the next state to establish an Office of Inspector General. The Government Administration and Elections Committee voted unanimously on a proposal to create the inspector general position. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for debate and vote. According to State Representative Laura Devlin of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, "an independent investigator without allegiances to a political party is the most just way to look into any allegations of state government waste…

Obama Nominates New GSA Inspector General

Posted on March16, 2015
President Obama announced his nomination for the new Inspector General for the General Services Administration. Carol Fortine Ochoa, who has been the assistant inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice Oversight and Review Division since 2005, has been nominated to the position. Prior to that position, she was Director of the Oversight and Review Division. She has also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and associate independent counsel at the Office of Independent Counsel.…