The Social Security Administration is proud of its financial accuracy when it provides disability and retirement benefits. A large part of that success is due to the oversight and investigative work provided by its Office of Inspector General. In this week’s edition of Agency of the Month, Patrick O’Carroll, the SSA’s Inspector General, explains how his office works with the SSA and shares details of a major fraud recovery effort in Puerto Rico that reclaimed millions of dollars for the agency.
GUEST BIOGRAPHY: Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr. currently serves as the third inspector general (IG) for the Social Security Administration (SSA), having been appointed to that position on November 24, 2004. Under his direction, the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) inspires public confidence in the integrity and security of SSA’s programs by conducting independent and objective audits, evaluations, and investigations. Since assuming the SSA OIG leadership role, O’Carroll has intensified the OIG’s efforts to identify and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in SSA programs through the institution of innovative and collaborative approaches to the office’s core functions, and the management and development of human and technological resources. O’Carroll directs an OIG workforce of about 560 auditors, attorneys, investigators, and support personnel nationwide. The results of their efforts can be seen in the OIG’s most recent achievements. In FY 2012, the OIG’s investigators reported over $502 million in investigative accomplishments through SSA recoveries, restitution, fines, settlements, judgments, and projected savings. OIG auditors issued 110 reports with recommendations identifying $4 billion in federal funds that could be put to better use and over $1.3 billion in questioned costs. And OIG’s attorneys reported over $10.1 million in civil monetary penalties and assessments. Prior to his appointment as inspector general, O’Carroll held a number of increasingly responsible positions in the SSA OIG organization, including assistant inspector general for investigations and assistant inspector general for external affairs. O’Carroll also brought to the OIG the benefits of his 26 years of experience with the United States Secret Service. O’Carroll received a B.S. from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and a Master of Forensic Sciences from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also attended the National Cryptologic School and the Kennedy School at Harvard University. O’Carroll is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Association of Government Accountants.