The Office of Inspector General Relocates Northeast Region Office into Department of Public Welfare Facility; Cites Cost Savings, Efficiency
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General recently relocated its Northeast Region Office into a facility currently housed by the Department of Public Welfare’s Luzerne County Assistance Office, 205 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre.
The relocation will save the state approximately $55,000 per year in leasing and administrative costs.
“We are committed to finding efficiencies in state government and being responsible with our spending,” Governor Tom Corbett said. “This is yet another example of how we are saving the taxpayers’ money.”
“This relocation not only saves Pennsylvania taxpayers money, it increases efficiency and improves communication between the Office of Inspector General and the Department of Public Welfare,” Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said.
“We are pleased with the opportunity to enhance our working relationship with the Office of Inspector General,” Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly D. Mackereth said. “We anticipate that this move will result in a leaner and more effective government.”
In addition to preventing waste, fraud and abuse in state government, the Office of Inspector General investigates and prosecutes welfare fraud. The Department of Public Welfare assists this effort by referring cases of potential welfare fraud to the Office of Inspector General.
In the past two years the Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Region has been responsible for prosecuting 410 counts of welfare fraud, representing approximately $1.4 million of restitution.
The Office of Inspector General also relies on tips from concerned citizens. To report suspected fraud, call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.
The Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Region Office covers the following 23 counties: Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming.
The Department of Public Welfare operates more than 90 county assistance offices across Pennsylvania. Each office offers a wide variety of services to help Pennsylvanians in need. Services may include Medical Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Media contact: James Timko, OIG, 717-787-6835
Anne Bale, DPW, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor