PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Office of Inspector General partnered today with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Philadelphia Police Department on a new campaign aimed at ending fraud and corruption.
The campaign, which will run about five months and focus on Philadelphia County, will target fraud and corruption in federal, state and local government agencies.
"Pennsylvania's Office of Inspector General is pleased to join forces with these nationally recognized organizations in an effort to end fraud,'' Kenya Mann Faulkner, the state's Inspector General, said at a press conference today. "This partnership will strengthen our efforts through the sharing of intelligence and resources."
It is the mission of the Office of Inspector General to prevent, investigate, and eradicate fraud, waste, and abuse within state agencies under the governor's jurisdiction. It serves the people of Pennsylvania by protecting the interests of taxpayers and ensuring integrity, accountability and public confidence in state government.
"Pennsylvanians are entitled to a government that is competent, efficient and, above all, honest,'' Governor Tom Corbett said. "Inspector General Faulkner has done important work in assuring our citizens of reliable dealings on their behalf. I look forward to continued progress as the Office of Inspector General joins with local and federal agencies in ferreting out fraud and corruption.''
Since Corbett took office, the Office of Inspector General's investigations have resulted in referrals for prosecution, discipline and removal from employment.
Summaries of some recent Inspector General cases include:
-Fraudulent applications submitted by a state employee. A state employee was found to have purposely omitted application information over a three-year period in order for their spouse to obtain state services. The employee's salary would have rendered the spouse ineligible for benefits/services. The work by the OIG resulted in the Attorney General's Office filing criminal charges.
-Vendor's inflated and unauthorized invoices. A contracted transportation vendor, who provided rides to work for state agency employees, had padded fares and submitted inflated invoices for more than $11,000. In addition, the OIG found that 98 percent of the charges were inconsistent with Public Utility Commission-approved rates.
-High-level public employees accepting gifts from state vendors. Investigators with OIG found evidence that an employee had solicited and accepted gifts from vendors of the state agency. Another individual, investigators found, had not only accepted gifts, but helped family members obtain jobs with a potential vendor of the state agency. The OIG also shared findings with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.
"These samplings of various investigations conducted by the Office of Inspector General show that our agency is about investigating, finding and ending fraud across all levels of government," Faulkner said.
"We want the citizens of this state to know that they can call upon us to investigate a variety of situations. When in doubt as to whether a situation is worthy of an OIG investigation, all anyone has to do is call us."
Individuals interested in reporting suspected fraud are encouraged to call the OIG's new hotline at 1-855-FRAUDPA (1-855-372-8372). Callers may remain anonymous.
To learn more about the Office of Inspector General, visit www.oig.state.pa.us
Media contact: Melissa K. Yerges, 717-787-6835
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General