The Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG) provides independent legal advice and counsel to the Inspector General on a wide range of issues, including statutes, regulations, legislation, and policy directives.
Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) Program
OCIG also administers the CMP program, imposing penalties and assessments and providing settlement and litigation of CMP cases. OCIG may impose civil monetary penalties against violators of sections 1129 and 1140 of the Social Security Act.
Section 1129—Preventing Social Security fraud
Section 1129 of the Social Security Act provides for civil monetary penalties against individuals who make certain material false statements or omissions to receive initial or continuing benefits under the Social Security Act.
The Act allows OIG to impose a $5,000 penalty for each false statement in addition to an assessment of up to twice the amount of benefits paid because of the false statement.
For more information on Section 1129 enforcement, click here.
Section 1140—A consumer protection tool against misleading advertising
Under section 1140 of the Social Security Act, OIG may impose civil monetary penalties against entities that use SSA`s program words, letters, symbols, or emblems in advertisements, or other such communications in a manner that conveys the false impression that such items are approved, authorized, or endorsed by SSA.
For more information on Section 1140 enforcement, click here.
Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman
Counsel to the Inspector General B. Chad Bungard serves as the OIG's Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman (WPO). The WPO's role is to educate SSA employees about prohibitions on retaliation for protected disclosures; and their rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures.