Justice Department IG Investigates Benefits Given to Informants

Posted on July28, 2015
The Justice Department Office of Inspector General investigated the controls used when the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) paid informants. Inspector General Michael Horowitz's office reported drug traffickers who cooperated with federal investigators "were under criminal investigation by other authorities." Another problem uncovered was the ability of some of the informants or dependents to receive workers' compensation benefits with only "questionable qualifications." The investigation found that there was no formal review of informants and many continued in criminal activity. "A committee…

New Bill Could Help U.S. Postal Service

Posted on July14, 2015
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) sponsored a new bill that will help the U.S. Postal Service "meet the needs of rural customers." A recent report by the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General found that "the Postal Service in North Dakota rarely met national service standards." The main complaint from the report is that rural carriers are being overworked due to cutbacks. The new bill proposes guaranteed six-days of delivery per week, as well as maintaining the current processing plants in North…

GSA Acting IG Pleased with Judge’s Decision Following Scandal

Posted on July06, 2015
The employee who planned an expensive Las Vegas training conference for the General Services Administration in 2012 was sentenced to home confinement and fines. Jeff Neely planned the conference, spending $822,000 for 300 people. Soon after the conference, photos surfaced of Neely in a hotel hot tub and an investigation was initiated. Prior to the conference, Neely had also submitted fraudulent travel vouchers. Seven GSA executives have already lost their jobs as a result of the investigation. Robert C. Erickson,…

Activng VA IG Retires Amid Growing Controversy

Posted on July04, 2015
Richard Griffin, the acting Inspector General for the Veterans Affairs Department, is retiring effective July 4. The VA OIG has been under scrutiny after recent reports of tampering with investigations and not investigating whistleblower claims. Griffin will be temporarily replaced by Linda Halliday, assistant inspector general for audits and evaluations. Many people inside and outside the VA have called for Griffin to be fired and for President Obama to appoint a permanent VA inspector general. Danielle Brian from the Project…

Department of Health and Human Services OIG Investigating Skyrocketing Generic Drug Prices

Posted on July02, 2015
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) has begun an investigation into the impact of dramatic price increases of specific generic drugs. Pricing data for a list of 10 widely prescribed medications gathered by the Healthcare Supply Chain Association show costs for individual drugs surging by as much as 8,281% between 2013 and 2014. Read more at Pharmacy Practice News.
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EPA IG Finds Fault in Agency’s Asbestos Guidelines

Posted on June18, 2015
A report recently released by the Environmental Protections Agency Office of the Inspector General finds that current guidelines for the EPA's Asbestos Demolition Standard allow "the release of potentially harmful quantities of asbestos." The OIG says that the current policy, which was established in 1973, needs to be updated to include the possible contamination from runoff wastewater containing asbestos. The current policy only requires that "asbestos-containing materials were well-soaked to prevent the fibers from becoming airborne during the demolition process."…

President Nominates Permanent IG at Dept of Interior

Posted on June05, 2015
Just days after members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the President about the vacancy of a permanent inspector general at the Department of Interior, the President nominated the current interim IG to the position. Mary Kendall has been the interim IG since 2009 when the IG was promoted by President Obama. The nomination is not without critics. Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee investigated mismanagement in 2013. "The GOP's report accused Kendall of not investigating…

US Department of Health and Human Services OIG: $1.8 Billion Recovered in Last Six Months

Posted on June04, 2015
The federal government recovered $1.8 billion from healthcare providers and programs in the first six months of fiscal 2015, a federal watchdog has revealed. Of the recoveries, $544.7 million was from audit receivables and $1.3 billion resulted from investigations, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said in its “Semiannual Report to Congress,” which was released Monday. Read More at McKnight's Long Term Care News
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President Urged to Fill Vacant IG Positions

Posted on June02, 2015
Several members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the President "asking him to name a new inspector general for the Department of the Interior." This letter follows a similar letter sent by Senate members in April requesting the President to fill the 10 vacant IG positions in the federal government. House Majority Leader Keven McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Bob Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Rep. Kevin Calvert (R-CA) all signed the letter to the President. The…

U.S. Postal Service IG Explores Banking Business

Posted on May26, 2015
The U.S. Postal Service Inspector General has issued a report suggesting that "the agency should enter or boost offerings in certain parts of the banking business." The report includes international money transfers as a possible expansion area for the Postal Service. Currently, the agency only allows customers to wire money to nine Latin American countries. The current options only include four of the top ten countries abroad where Americans send money. Another option suggested is that the Postal Service join…