Office of the Inspector General
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Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an office that is part of Cabinet departments and independent agencies of the United States federal government as well as some state and local governments. Each office includes an Inspector General and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement within the parent agency. In addition to representing Departments within the United States Government, some OIG's exist to investigate specific offenses (exp. Small Business Loans Office of Inspector General).
There is no one currently appointed to the role of Inspector General in the Department of the Interior. The acting Inspector General is Mary Kendall.
For more information, including a list of all federal OIGs, see Inspector General.
The largest and most recognized Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was established in 1976 under the Department of Health and Human Services to fight waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and more than 100 other HHS programs. With approximately 1,600 employees, the OIG performs audits, investigations, and evaluations to establish policy recommendations for decision-makers and the public.
Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Enforcement
The OIG develops and distributes resources to assist the health care industry in its efforts to comply with the Nation's fraud and abuse laws and to educate the public about fraudulent schemes so they can protect themselves and report suspicious activities.
In recent years, the OIG has made an effort to target hospitals and healthcare systems for Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations pertaining to the management of physician compensation arrangements. In 2015, a fraud alert was issued to publicize the OIG's intent to further regulate such non-compliance. In light of such efforts and consequent record-breaking settlements, healthcare experts have begun to call for the transition from paper based physician time logging and contract management to automated solutions.
Inspectors General have also been criticized for being, rather than guardians of whistleblowers, instead, ineffective, inactive, or at worst, instruments by which whistleblowers are persecuted. One example is from the Securities and Exchange Commission OIG. In a 2011 article by Matt Taibbi, SEC whistleblowers said that complaining to the SEC OIG was "well-known to be a career-killer." Another example is from whistleblower Jesselyn Radack's book Canary in the Coalmine, in which she describes her experience complaining to the Department of Justice OIG; instead of helping her, the IG office helped the DOJ get her fired and restricted from practicing as a lawyer. Another example is from the Thomas Andrews Drake case, in which several complainants to the Department of Defense OIG over NSA's Trailblazer Project were later raided by the FBI and some threatened with criminal prosecution.
- "Becker's Hospital Review".
- "Becker's Hospital Review" (PDF).
- "Becker's Hospital Review".
- Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. POGO Obtains Pentagon Inspector General Report Associated With NSA Whistleblower Tom Drake, By Nick Schwellenbach, Project on Government Oversight, 2011 6 22, http://pogo.typepad.com , and Too Classified to Try Myth in Failed Drake Prosecution, Jesselyn Radack, DailyKos, 6/11/11
- Taibbi, Matt (August 17, 2011). "Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?". Rolling Stone.
- Canary in the Coalmine, Jesselyn Radack, 2006, ISBN 1-4276-0974-8
- Mayer, Jane (May 2011). "The Secret Sharer". The New Yorker.
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