On July 20, 2017, Governor Wolf signed Act 29 of 2017, establishing an Office of State Inspector General under statute and giving it law enforcement powers, including the ability to issue subpoenas and search warrants, access criminal justice databases and work more cooperatively with other law enforcement agencies. The OSIG (formerly “OIG”) was originally created by Executive Order 1987-7 on April 6, 1987, to “deter, detect, prevent, and eradicate fraud, waste, misconduct, and abuse in the programs, operations, and contracting of executive agencies,” a mission it fulfills for the citizens of Pennsylvania to this day.
To accomplish its mission, the OSIG has two investigative bureaus: the Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution (BFPP) and the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). The OSIG has offices located in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre.
Since 1994, the OSIG also has investigated and prosecuted welfare fraud and conducted collection activities for the public benefits programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). This investigative work is primarily handled by the BFPP. To assist in this work, in addition to investigating allegations of fraud concerning receipt of benefits, the BFPP has an agent assigned to each of DHS’s County and District Assistance Offices throughout the state. These agents work to uncover deception before state monies are distributed.
Under Act 29, the OSIG is authorized to file criminal complaints for violations of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7313 – Buying or Exchanging Federal Food Order Coupons, Stamps, Authorization Cards or Access Devices; 18 Pa.C.S. § 7314 – Fraudulent Traffic In Food Orders; 62 Pa.C.S. § 481 – False Statements and Investigations; and 62 Pa.C.S. § 1408 – Criminal Penalties/Medical Assistance.
To facilitate filing those complaints, the OSIG is proud to have been designated by the Office of Attorney General as a Criminal Justice Agency. In addition, the Pennsylvania State Police has provided our agency a law enforcement Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number, and the OSIG may now access criminal history record information through law enforcement databases.
The BSI is primarily tasked with investigating allegations of abuse and misconduct in agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction. The BSI works to identify and eliminate the mismanagement of state monies, employee misconduct, and contract fraud irregularities. The BSI is further tasked with conducting pre-employment background investigations for executive-level appointments and other positions of trust in state government.
The men and women of the Office of State Inspector General are proud to serve the citizens of Pennsylvania. We work each day to ensure that the values of good government - ethics, integrity, and accountability – come first in the agencies and programs under our jurisdiction.