OIG Timeline: Some Important Events in Our History
Our organization’s story
We compiled this information after an OIG Facebook friend asked that we share some history about the organization. Thanks for the request, and please let us know if you have others.
- Inspector General Act of 1978 passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal. The legislation was intended to increase transparency and accountability in the Executive Branch. OIGs have to remain independent and objective, but at the same time, they’re closely tied to their agencies. We must work collaboratively with SSA and the Congress, to improve agency programs and operations.
- Our office was created on March 31, 1995, when SSA became an independent agency. The SSA Inspector General is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
- David C. Williams appointed as the first Inspector General of Social Security.
- OIG Fraud Hotline established.
- SSA and OIG jointly established the [Cooperative Disability Investigations]/cooperative-disability-investigations-cdi) program in five states.
- James G. Huse, Jr. appointed as the second Inspector General of Social Security.
- OIG became involved in investigations of individuals suspected of perpetrating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It quickly became apparent just how instrumental the use of fraudulent Social Security numbers had been for these individuals, who relied on aliases and assumed identities to integrate themselves anonymously into our society.
- Social Security Protection Act of 2004 passed and included several key provisions related to OIG operations, such as establishing criminal penalties for threats or assaults against SSA employees and authorizing OIG to investigate such cases.
- Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr. appointed as the third Inspector General of Social Security.
- OIG became involved in response efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our special agents later pursued hurricane-related fraud investigations, often jointly with FEMA and other agencies.
- In April, since program inception, Cooperative Disability Investigations efforts surpass $1 billion in projected savings to SSA programs.
- OIG reorganization creates the Electronic Crimes Division, a Federal Government model for computer forensic support for nationwide fraud investigations.
- Inspector General Reform Act of 2008] passed to enhance the independence of the Inspectors General, to increase the professionalism and effectiveness of Inspectors General, and to create a Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.
- The Office of Audit achieves a record-high cost savings of $7.5 billion in its audit reports in Fiscal Year 2009. This same year, the office achieves its highest percentage agreement on recommendations from SSA at 98 percent.
- The OIG launches its redesigned, cloud-based public website.
- The Office of Audit issues a record-high 110 audit reports in Fiscal Year 2011.
- In January, since program inception, Cooperative Disability Investigations efforts surpass $2 billion in projected savings to SSA programs.
- OIG became involved in response efforts in the New York-New Jersey region following Hurricane Sandy.
- The Office of Investigations reorganizes. The Forensic Intelligence and Analysis Division (FIAD) replaces the Strategic Research and Analysis Division and comprises the Digital Forensics Team (formerly the Electronic Crimes Division), the Electronic Intelligence Center, and the Investigative Research Team.
- In August, an OIG disability fraud investigation with the FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Department led to the arrests of 75 individuals in Puerto Rico, including numerous beneficiaries, several medical providers, and a former SSA employee.
- In January, an OIG fraud investigation with the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office led to the indictments and arrests of more than 100 individuals connected to a New York-based multi-million-dollar disability scheme, many of them retired NYPD and FDNY employees
- In February, the Office of Investigations reorganizes. The Intelligence Analysis Division (IAD) replaces the Forensic Intelligence and Analysis Division, and the Digital Forensics Team is reassigned to the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), to consolidate all investigative support functions under one division. The new IAD focuses on providing analytical support to all OIG operations.
- In February, since program inception, Cooperative Disability Investigations efforts surpass $3 billion in projected savings to SSA programs.
- In March, the OIG marked the organization’s 20th anniversary.
- In September, the CDI Program completes a significant expansion plan, launching 12 new units in a year, bringing CDI to 37 total units.
- In November, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed and included several key provisions related to OIG operations, such as mandating CDI coverage for all 50 states, calling for new and stronger penalties for fraud facilitated by third parties, and implementing several OIG recommendations aimed at improving SSA’s payment accuracy.
- In April, an OIG investigation with the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigations, and HHS OIG led to the indictments and arrests of a retired Administrative Law Judge, an attorney, and a psychologist for their alleged involvement in a $600 million disability fraud conspiracy in Kentucky and West Virginia.
- In May, Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr., retired from Federal service after serving as the Inspector General of Social Security for more than 11 years. Deputy Inspector General Gale Stallworth Stone began serving as Acting Inspector General.
- In September, the Office of Investigations opened its Electronic Intelligence Center at the OIG’s Headquarters in Baltimore.
- In December, the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 passed and included several key provisions related to the OIG community, such as confirming OIG access to all agency records and documents relevant to OIG oversight of the agency’s programs and operations, and an OIG exemption to the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act, which excuses OIGs from obtaining formal data matches before matching data with other agencies and entities to identify fraud and waste.
- In October, SSA and the OIG marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the CDI Program.
- In January, Gail S. Ennis is appointed as the fourth Inspector General of Social Security.
- In February, since program inception, Cooperative Disability Investigations efforts surpass $4 billion in projected savings to SSA programs.
- In March, the OIG marked the organization’s 25th anniversary.