|Posted:||May 6, 2019 03:12 PM|
|From:||Representative Mindy Fee|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Co-sponsor - Inspector General Enforcement|
|As you may recall, we worked together to transform the Office of State Inspector General (“OSIG”) by enacting Act 29 of 2017.
That act provided the OSIG with necessary tools like subpoena power and law enforcement investigative authority for its public benefits fraud cases.
I am pleased to report that the implementation of that act has been an unqualified success.
In the time since Act 29 was enacted, the OSIG has conducted joint operations with local law enforcement in Allegheny, Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lebanon, and Philadelphia counties, among others. They have filed 492 felony fraud cases and saved and collected over $100 million for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
As OSIG has charged these cases, and prioritized benefit trafficking cases, they have asked for our help so that they might charge the related offenses which arise from almost every public benefits fraud case, but which were not enumerated in the original Act 29.
To advance the important work of OSIG, I will be offering a bill which adds these corollary charges to the list of offenses OSIG can charge directly by police criminal complaint.
It is very important to emphasize that OSIG has only asked for authority to charge these offenses when they are related to the administration of Department of Human Services (“DHS”) benefits.
My legislation expressly limits charging authority to those cases over which OSIG already has jurisdiction. It does not increase OSIG’s jurisdiction.
Passage of this bill will improve efficiency and economy and will help OSIG work with regional law enforcement and our county District Attorneys around the Commonwealth to combat public benefits fraud and save Pennsylvanians money.
I look forward to continuing our bipartisan success in supporting this important mission. Please join me in cosponsoring this measure.
Introduced as HB1461