Citizens Property Insurance Corp. IG finds no ethics rules violations in recent departures

Posted on September18, 2014
  The Citizens Property Insurance Corporation's Inspector General Bruce Meeks found no improprieties in how three former executives left for employment with private firms that have ties to the state-backed insurer. However, Meeks recommended the insurer should consider clarifying parts of its ethics code, expand post-employment restrictions at the management level and include post-employment rules as part of ethics training for leadership. Read more at the Miami Herald.  

Jacksonville’s City Council members want inspector general’s oversight to extend outside City Hall

Posted on September15, 2014
When it comes to identifying fraud, waste and abuse, some City Council members want to make sure the oversight isn’t just limited to City Hall. That’s why several council members pushing for the creation of an Office of Inspector General want to ensure if the watchdog office is created, it applies to all reaches of government — including the independent authorities, boards and constitutional officers.   Read More at The Daily Record.

USDA oversight of Recovery Act spending faulted by OIG

Posted on September10, 2014
A USDA Inspector General's review has determined that the department was not sufficiently prepared to handle the mountain of cash - more than $28 billion -- that it was handed by the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As a result, the OIG said it uncovered a total of about $5 billion in questionable or unsupported costs which it said it has documented in 80 previous reports. The OIG audits resulted in 84 convictions and total recoveries of $11 million, and an…

SSA OIG employees turn limited budget into 20-to-1 return on investment

Posted on September08, 2014
Some of New York's finest are behind bars for their involvement in a criminal ring to defraud the Social Security Administration. A group of 106 people, many of them New York City firefighters and police officers, pocketed $23.2 million in fraudulent disability claims from the SSA. Four of them created a legitimate-looking paper trail to try to dupe the agency, including two doctors, an attorney and a disability consultant. Despite their efforts, federal law enforcement rounded up the entire group. Read…

LA Unified Inspector General reopens probe into Pearson and Apple products.

Posted on August29, 2014
The inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School Distict is reopening an investigation into the purchase of iPads and Pearson software based on findings in a KPCC investigation into communication between district officials and those companies nearly a year ahead of a public bid.   After reviewing more than 1,000 internal emails over several days, KPCC found Superintendent John Deasy and his staff communicated closely with executives at Pearson about purchasing learning  software under development for the iPad.  A…

Over half of federal government’s Inspector Generals warn of obstruction by federal agencies

Posted on August28, 2014
At least three federal agencies have hindered the oversight efforts of independent watchdogs by limiting their access to records, according to a complaint from more than half of the government’s inspectors general.  The inspectors general, several of whom were nominated for their roles by President Obama, said such interpretations of the law represent “potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”   Read more at the…

Over Half of Separation Clauses at International Relief and Development Violate Whistleblower Laws According to Inspector General

Posted on August19, 2014
A federal inspector general said Thursday that more than half of the separation agreements signed by departing employees of a nonprofit that received hundreds of millions of tax dollars to work in Iraq and Afghanistan contain provisions that violate whistleblower-protection laws.  The separation agreements warned employees that they could face legal action if they made disparaging remarks about IRD, including comments to "funding agencies" or "officials of any government."   Read more at Stars and Stripes

Attorney Sentenced to 70 Months In Jail For $28 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Posted on August15, 2014
A disbarred Florida attorney was sentenced in federal court in Tampa, Florida today to serve 70 months in prison in connection with her role in a $28.3 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false claims for physical and occupational therapy services.  The case is being investigated by HHS-OIG and the FBI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of…

DHS Inspector General Embraces Continuous Monitoring

Posted on July16, 2014
When Jaime Vargas with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General agreed to share how his office is faring in the security realm, FedTech jumped at the opportunity. Jaime Vargas, chief information security officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General. Read the entire article at FedTech Magazine

Inspector General Finds Problems Remain In Oil & Gas Leasing

Posted on July15, 2014
Late last month the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Interior issued a twenty 7 page report outlining continuing issues with the onshore oil and gas leasing process administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The wide variation in approving APDs at BLM offices varies widely, ranging from 37 days in Anchorage, Alaska to 328 days in Buffalo, Wyoming. Read the entire article at Fairfield Sun Times