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GSA’s Office of Inspector General Could Save Taxpayers $1.3 Billion in Fiscal 2015

Posted on December03, 2015
According to the IG's annual report to Congress, GSA’s Office of Inspector General could possibly save taxpayers $1.3 billion in 2015 if they adopt their recommendations. The report, released on Nov. 30, chronicles the OIG’s actions from April 1 to Sept. 30, including audits, investigations and fund recoveries. It also identified $135 million in criminal and civil recovery for the period, with another $30 million coming from administrative recoveries, forfeitures and restitution payments. The Office of Inspector General also addressed audits…
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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…
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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…
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Investigation into $70 Million in Overdue Mine Safety Fines

Posted on May18, 2015
The Labor Department Inspector General is conducting an audit of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) following the circulation of a NPR and Mine Safety and Health News series. The series "reported failure of federal regulators to collect nearly $70 million in overdue safety fines. Most are two to 10 years late; some go back decades." In addition to breaking down the number of delinquent mine owners violations, the series found that the injury rate was 50% higher at…
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Defense IG Announces New Principal Deputy Inspector General

Posted on May15, 2015
Following the recent departure of Lynne Halbrooks as Principal Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Defense, Inspector General Jon T. Rymer has "announced the selection of Mr. Glenn A. Fine" to the position. Fine will officially begin his duties June 1, 2015. Most recently, Fine worked in the private sector as a partner at Dechert LLP. While there, his focus was White Collar & Security Litigation. Prior to that position, Fine was Inspector General of the U.S. Department of…
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New Inspector General Named for Illinois Executive Office

Posted on May07, 2015
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a new Inspector General to serve in the position vacated by Ricardo Meza in April. Maggie Hickey will take over the position July 13. Prior to her appointment, Hickey "worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois" and as chief of staff to Republican U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois. She has specialized in financial crimes and special prosecution, "where she prosecuted crimes such as health care fraud, money laundering,…
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Bill Introduced to Require Federal Inspectors General to Make Findings Public

Posted on April28, 2015
In response to the failures at the Veterans Affairs Department, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis) and every other House member from Wisconsin sponsored a bill that would "bar inspectors general in the federal government from keeping from the public the findings of their investigations." The bipartisan sponsorship could help the bill pass more easily. The inspector general at the VA did not release findings of an investigation into opiate prescriptions at facility in Wisconsin. Rep. Kind initiated the complaint that triggered…
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State Department IG Wants More Separation from IT Department

Posted on April24, 2015
Steve Linick, the Inspector General for the State Department, is concerned about the access available to his system by the State Department IT department. At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department management, Linick addressed his concerns about the security of the State Department's computer network. According to Linick, "we've looked at security from a systemic point of view, we really need to be independent from the department." Since the OIG could be investigating individuals with…
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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…
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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…
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