The Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General

The Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG) provides independent legal advice and counsel to the Inspector General and all components; develops training for OIG employees; assists OIG managers with personnel matters; oversees and administers SSA’s Civil Monetary Penalty program; represents OIG in litigation; and serves as SSA’s Whistleblower Coordinator.

WHISTLEBLOWER RIGHTS AND PROTECTION

Michelle Murray, Deputy Counsel to the Inspector General, directs the OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Coordinator Program. The program educates SSA employees about prohibitions on retaliation for protected disclosures and their rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures.

Civil Monetary penalty program

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 monetary 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.

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.