Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General Marks 25th Anniversary

April 4, 2012

‘Watchdog’ Agency Ensures Integrity in Government Programs, Services

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Governor Tom Corbett and Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner today joined other state and federal officials to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of Pennsylvania’s Office of Inspector General.

“Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve to have a state government that operates honestly and with integrity,” said Governor Corbett. “The Office of Inspector General’s important work ensures state government delivers on that expectation.”

“The Office of Inspector General is excited to celebrate this milestone in the agency’s history and what it has accomplished in the last 25 years,” said Inspector General Faulkner. “We look forward to continuing to safeguard tax dollars by combating fraud, waste, and abuse within state government and working with other state agencies to accomplish that mission.”

The Inspector General is a cabinet-level official who is appointed by, and reports to, the governor. Several past Inspectors General and other cabinet officials also participated in today’s anniversary event held in the Capitol’s East Wing.

The Office of Inspector General, or OIG, was created by executive order in 1987. The office’s mission is to ensure integrity, accountability and public confidence in Pennsylvania government by preventing, investigating and eliminating fraud, waste, abuse and misconduct.

In pursuit of this mission, the OIG has conducted more than 4,000 investigations for the commonwealth in the past 10 years. These investigations ranged from background checks conducted on prospective employees or appointees, to investigations on the misuse or abuse of government equipment, employee misconduct, or misappropriation of public funds.

Since 1994, the Office of Inspector General has been responsible for investigating welfare fraud and conducting collection activities for public assistance programs administered by the Department of Public Welfare. The OIG works with county assistance offices statewide to identify suspected cases of public assistance fraud and with local district attorneys to bring the cases to prosecution.

Over the past 10 years, the OIG has filed more than 13,000 criminal complaints on welfare fraud cases for a total restitution amount in excess of $42.5 million and an additional $15.6 million in cost savings to taxpayers through future program disqualification.

The Office of Inspector General also investigates tips from concerned citizens. To report suspected fraud, waste, misconduct or abuse in state programs, operations, or contracts, individuals can call 1-877-888-7927.

To report suspected welfare fraud, individuals can call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.

For more information on the Office of Inspector General, visit www.oig.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Melissa K. Yerges, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General

Source: PR Newswire