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. OCIG also developes employee training and assists all OIG components with personnel matters.
OCIG works with the Office of Investigations on sensitive, complex, and often time-critical investigations of allegations of administrative, civil and criminal violations, or internal and external misconduct involving SSA and SSA OIG programs; 2) Offices for Section 1129 and 1140 Enforcement, which oversee and administer SSA’s Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) program; and 3) the Office of Special Reviews (OSR), which conducts investigations relating to whistleblower retaliation, allegations of misconduct by senior Agency officials and OIG employees, special reviews related to issues of significant or congressional concern, and special projects at the direction of the Inspector General.
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.
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 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.
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.
Fact Sheet: Legal Enforcement and Financial Penalties
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