Office of the Inspector Generals (OIG)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) was created under the Inspector General Act as amended by Public Law 95-452 with the purpose of providing security and maintaining the integrity of the Health and Human Services Programs and to ensure the well being of its beneficiaries. The department is charged with the duty of combating waste, fraud and abusive acts involving the various programs of the agency, such as the Medicare and other programs of the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and the CDC.

As an investigative body, the special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) are considered to be the inspectors and investigating officers who are the front liners in pursuing the nation’s efforts of fighting fraud, waste and abuse in the health care programs. The authority and duties of the department include the following:

  • Conduct criminal, administrative and civil investigations related to fraud involving the HHS programs and the beneficiaries
  • Provide resources for the oversight of the HHS program implementation
  • Use communication technology and state of the art tools in the conduct of its investigation
  • Accommodate complaints about health care fraud and maintaining an OIG hotline for this purpose
  • Provide collaborative assistance in developing enforcement actions to enforce the law
  • Recommend programs that will provide safeguards to the HHS programs that are vulnerable to fraud.
  • Provide protection to the HSS Secretary
  • Special agents are authorized to carry firearms with Glock 23 and 27 pistols, including the LWRC M6 rifle.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) is primarily responsible in the investigation of violations of various Medicare frauds, such as the following:

  • Charging excessive billings on services and supplies
  • Knowingly submitting false statements
  • Misrepresentation on Medicare claims
  • Conducting prohibited solicitations and accepting payments for services reimbursed by the health programs of the federal government
  • Making prohibited referrals and accepting payments higher than what is allowed under the program

Social Security Administration (SSA OIG)

The Social Security Administration (SSA OIG) was established in 1995 as a result of the legislation of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994. It is under the supervision of the Commission of the Social Security Administration and the objective of the department is to conduct investigations and audit to all matters involving the programs and operations of the Agency. The SSA OIG is primarily involved in promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of the Social Security Administration programs. The department conducts investigations to identify potential weaknesses and violations of the SSA program and provide recommendations.

There are different duties that the Social Security Administration (SSA OIG) is allowed to perform by the law. Its special agents are responsible for conducting operations and activities within their authority, with the following duties:

  • Identifying fraud
  • Investigating the abuse, mismanagement and waste of the SSA programs and operations
  • To direct and supervise the auditing process and evaluation involving the transactions involving SSA programs
  • Report the weakness of the system and make recommendations for improvement and necessary corrective action
  • Serve as the OIG liaison to the Department of Justice
  • Promote economy and efficiency in the conduct of the implementation of the SSA program
  • To conduct intelligence investigation
  • Conduct research and analysis regarding disability issues and the susceptibility of the SSA programs to disability fraud

The Social Security Administration (SSA OIG) is also responsible for the investigation of the following crimes and situations:

  • Fraudulent claims on Social Security benefits
  • Disability fraud
  • Failure to notify the SSA of the death of the beneficiary and continuously receiving the benefits through fraudulent means
  • Concealment in receiving disability benefits
  • Misuse benefits from the SSA programs
  • Residing overseas while receiving payment for the supplemental security income

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD OIG)

A part of the US Cabinet department of the federal government is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD OIG), which was founded on 1965. It was formed as part of the Great Society program that was created by then President Lyndon Johnson intended to execute the programs and policies involving housing. The department was formed pursuant to the Housing and Urban Development Act. The major thrust of the department is to build strong and sustainable housing programs to the community that is affordable to all. Its investigative body is responsible in protecting the consumers and protecting the integrity of the housing and development programs of the federal government.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD OIG) is given various duties and authority in the conduct of investigation and in the implementation of the federal laws involving urban housing and development. These duties include the following:

  • Use all resources available to combat fraudulent transactions in the assistance program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Full time participation in the investigation of the the Department of Justice Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
  • Coordinate efforts and investigation outcomes with the FBI’s Mortgage team
  • Form a Mortgage Fraud Working Groups or task forces to operate across the country
  • Conduct educational and outreach enforcement projects involving the various programs under the Housing and Economic Reform Act and related laws
  • Investigate frauds involving mortgages

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD OIG) conducts the initiative of investigating certain conducts that violate the Department of Housing and Urban Development and may involve the following:

  • Single family mortgage fraud
  • Low income housing fraud
  • Public corruption involving the HUD grant programs
  • Fraud involving the housing management entities
  • Fraud involving the claims from the federal disaster recovery program

Department of Agriculture OIG

The Inspector General Act of 1978 established the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture OIG has various headquarters across the United States and its main objective is to ensure the proper audit and implementation of the programs of the Department of Agriculture. The office of the inspector general is responsible for the conduct of investigations involving frauds and acts committed in violation of the lawful implementation of the Department of Agriculture programs.

As the law enforcement agency, the Department of Agriculture OIG has special agents who are authorized to perform certain duties, powers and authorities, among which include the following:

  • Authority to make arrests
  • Execute a warrant of arrest
  • Conduct search on premises
  • Seizure of evidence
  • Carry firearms
  • Conduct undercover operations
  • Conduct surveillance operations
  • Work with the department’s management team to reinforce an effective means of detecting fraud and abuse involving the department’s programs
  • Report to the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture and Congress
  • Conduct audit to review the program systems
  • Assess vulnerabilities of the department programs
  • Audit insurance and deficiency payments and retailer food stamp redemptions.
  • Participate in the efforts of multiple agency projects involving fraud investigations
  • Carry firearms

The Department of Agriculture OIG primarily conducts investigations involving various activities constituting as a violation of the federal laws and commission of the following crimes:

  • Fraud in subsidy
  • Assaults and threats on the department’s employees
  • Price support and insurance benefits
  • Theft involving government properties
  • Activities that are hazardous to public health and safety
  • Tampering of goods approved by the USDA
  • Terrorism activities involving industries regulated by the USDA
  • Fraud, abuse and waste of the USDA projects and programs
  • Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Smuggling

Department of Labor OIG

One of the Cabinet branches of the US federal government is the Department of Labor. Its main function is to ensure occupational safety standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services and other working conditions involving work hours and wages. The Department of Labor OIG is the law enforcement agent of the department that is responsible for the investigations of crimes and other fraudulent activities involving the Department of Labor’s programs and operations. There are over 180 federal laws involving labor regulations and the OIG is responsible that they are faithfully executed and complied with.

The Department of Labor OIG works under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. The department has special agents who execute the mandate of the law in carrying out its investigative duties and authorities that include the following:

  • Conducting civil, criminal and administrative investigations involving the violation of the federal laws implemented by the Department of Labor
  • Conduct labor racketeering investigations involving three areas, namely the internal union affairs, employee benefit plan and labor management relations
  • Monitor employee or personnel conduct in implementing the department programs and operations
  • Assess threats to the department
  • Conduct a nationwide investigation involving disputes in labor unions
  • Ensure compliance of the department programs according to the applicable regulations
  • Assess and evaluate if the department’s resources are used efficiently

Among the duties of the Department of Labor OIG is to investigate crimes that are committed within and outside the department. Their investigation may include the following crimes:

  • Labor racketeering
  • Organized crimes that affect labor unions and employee benefit plans
  • Crimes committed against labor unions
  • Labor related criminal activities
  • Fraud
  • Infiltration of union
  • Exploitation of union members and employees in general
  • Extortion
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud involving the Worker’s Compensation programs
  • Fraud involving unemployment insurance
  • Grant fraud

Department of Energy OIG

The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement agency of the Department of Energy. Its main objective is to prevent and detect all types of fraud involving the operations and programs of the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy OIG engages in the conduct of audits, evaluation and criminal investigation involving the activities involving the Department of Energy and the enforcement of the laws the department implements. The department was created by virtue of the Department of Energy Organization Act and it mainly conducts various investigatory activities involving the internal matters within the department and the honest implementation of its programs while identifying potential threats and risks involving the Department of Energy.

The Department of Energy OIG conducts investigation through its own investigating agents. They are clothed with the following duties, powers and authorities:

  • Review and evaluate the procedures involved in the planning, staffing, and audit coverage involving the department activities
  • Coordinate and supervise the audits done involving the internal affairs of the Department of Energy while securing the integrity, efficiency and honesty in its governance and services
  • Conduct investigations civilly, administratively and criminally
  • Coordinate with the local, state and federal investigating bodies
  • Recommend corrective actions for the better enforcement of the department policies
  • Assist in the prosecution of the crimes and violations committed against the department and its employees.
  • Detect fraud and abuse cases

There are also wide ranges of crimes that are covered by the Department of Energy OIG investigations, including the following:

  • Contract fraud
  • Collusion
  • Defective pricing
  • Product substitution
  • Bribery and kickbacks
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Misconduct committed by the department employees
  • Environmental crimes
  • Theft involving the government properties
  • False statements or misrepresentations
  • Unauthorized purchases using the DOE funds
  • Mis-allocation of costs involving the projects of the department
  • Grant fraud
  • Disposal of hazardous wastes
  • Phantom charges to the department funds

Department of Education OIG

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education is an independent agency that is mainly responsible as an investigating arm involving the activities and programs implemented by the Department of Education. The Department of Education OIG is under the supervision of an Inspector General as the agency head, and working with special investigatory forces in close coordination with the Department of Justice regarding the criminal activities involving the Department of Education programs and activities.

There are special duties and responsibilities that the Department of Education OIG performs. It derives its powers, duties and authority from the Inspector General Act to carry out the following:

  • Provide coordination and recommend policies the promote the effectiveness of the programs of the Department of Education
  • Identify risks and abuse in the department’s programs
  • Inform the agency head of the problems and deficiencies involving the department’s operation and program implementation
  • Conduct and supervise audits and investigation of the overall operation of the department
  • Conduct criminal and civil investigation activities
  • Make arrest
  • Serve warrants
  • Conduct fraud awareness programs
  • Perform internal investigations regarding unscrupulous activities committed by the department employees
  • Coordinate and participate in the government task force programs against fraud and abuse
  • Investigate suspected criminal activities of its own employees
  • Conduct special projects and analyse risks within the deparment

The investigating powers of the Department of Education OIG include the monitoring, assessment and investigating the commission of crimes and questionable activities that may include the following:

  • Fraud, waste and abuse of the Department of Education programs
  • Misconduct of the department employees
  • Information technology fraud
  • Cybercrimes
  • Assaults and threats to the department employees
  • Corruption involving government funds
  • Fraudulent activities involving the Department of Education funds
  • Improper implementation of the Department of Education programs

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

The Department of Veterans Affairs OIG is one of the departments of the Office of Inspector General that was created and established by virtue of the Inspector General Act of 1978. It is a law enforcement agency that is responsible for the conduct of investigations involving the federal law concerning the programs under the implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The department has an investigating arm consisting of special agents who are skilled in conducting investigatory activities and to ensure the integrity of the department if maintained.

The department has specialized investigators who are trained in carrying out investigatory missions in pursuing administrative and criminal violations involving the Veterans Affairs. The duties and responsibilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs OIG are carried out by its special agents who are vested with the following authorities and powers:

  • Conduct administrative investigations involving the personnel and non-personnel of the Veterans Affair
  • Investigate allegations involving the violations of federal crimes
  • Provide executive leadership in the conduct of criminal and administrative investigations
  • Arrest authority to the violators of the federal law involving the programs and projects of the Department of Veterans Affairs

There are wide ranges of administrative and criminal violations that the Department of Veterans Affairs OIG investigates. These include:

  • Patient abuse
  • Embezzlement
  • Drug diversion
  • Illegal use of drugs
  • False claims
  • Bid-rigging
  • Misuse of Veteran Affairs funds
  • Collection of kickbacks
  • Prohibited personnel practices
  • Bribery
  • Product substitution
  • Preferential treatment
  • Fraud involving the use of defective pharmaceuticals by the department employees and patients
  • Threats against the department employees, resources and facilities
  • Identity theft
  • Rape
  • Stolen valor
  • Workers compensation fraud
  • Misuse of government funds and resources
  • Theft of drugs by the department employees
  • Homicide
  • Fraud involving a third party health care provider

Department of Commerce OIG

The Department of Commerce OIG is a branch of the federal government cabinet of the United States, which is mainly concerned with the promotion of the state’s economic growth. The Office of Inspector General in the department has investigatory powers in performing criminal investigations involving the activities and programs of the Department of Commerce, including all its operations. Its main objective is to identify any abuse, waste and fraud committed against the department and its programs. As the law enforcement department of the Department of Commerce, the OIG mainly performs activities involving the tracking down of financial activities involving the tax payers’ money through audit, investigations and inspection.

The different duties and responsibilities of the Department of Commerce OIG mainly revolves in ensuring that the programs, activities and operation of the department are properly implemented. It has special agents responsible in the performance of the following duties and authorities:

  • Conduct investigations involving suspected criminal activities of the department employees
  • Authority to investigate the recipients of financial assistance of the department
  • Monitor and evaluate potential threats to the department of commerce and its resources
  • Access to all official records and communications within the department
  • Report its auditing investigation to the department secretary
  • Review documents and provide recommendations to improve the efficiency of the programs and operations of the department

There are various criminal acts and conduct that the Department of Commerce OIG investigates, which involve the following:

  • Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Misappropriation of government funds
  • False claims against the department
  • Concealment and obliteration of official documents
  • Fraud and conspiracy to defraud the department involving its programs and operation
  • Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Conflict of interest between the department employees and officials
  • Violations of ethical conduct the department employees
  • Abuse of authority by a senior official of the department
  • Material misrepresentations of the Senior department official
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