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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Welfare inspector general
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 5
§ 74. Welfare inspector general. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of
this section, the following definitions shall apply:

a. "Inspector" means the welfare inspector general created by this

b. "Investigation" means, investigations of fraud, abuse, or illegal
acts perpetrated within the department of social services or local
social services districts, or by contractees or recipients of public
assistance services as provided by the department of social services.

c. "Office" means the office of the welfare inspector general created
by this section.

2. a. There is hereby created in the department of law within the
office of the deputy attorney general for medicaid fraud control an
office of welfare inspector general. The head of the office shall be
the welfare inspector general, who shall be appointed by the governor,
by and with the advice and consent of the senate.

b. The inspector shall serve for a term of five years unless removed
by the governor for neglect or malfeasance in office, and may also be
removed for neglect or malfeasance by the senate upon a vote of
two-thirds of its members. An inspector removed from office may not be
reappointed to such office.

c. The inspector may not be employed with the department of social
services during his employment with the office or within two years after
terminating employment with the office.

3. Functions, duties and responsibilities. The inspector shall have
the following functions, duties and responsibilities:

a. to appoint such deputies, directors, assistants and other officers
and employees as may be needed for the performance of his duties and may
prescribe their powers and fix their compensation within the amounts
appropriated therefor;

b. to conduct and supervise investigations relating to the programs of
the department of social services and, to the greatest extent possible,
to coordinate such activities with the deputy attorney general for
medicaid fraud control, the commissioner of social services, the
commissioner of health, the commissioner of education, the fiscal agent
employed to operate the medicaid management information system, and the
state comptroller;

c. to keep the governor, attorney general, state comptroller,
president pro tem and minority leader of the senate, the speaker and the
minority and majority leaders of the assembly, apprised of fraud and

d. to prosecute fraud, abuse or illegal acts perpetrated within the
department of social services or local social services districts, or by
contractees or recipients of public assistance services;

e. to make information and evidence relating to criminal acts which he
may obtain in carrying out his duties available to appropriate law
enforcement officials and to consult with the deputy attorney general
for medicaid fraud control and local district attorneys to coordinate
investigations and criminal prosecutions;

f. to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths or affirmations, take
testimony and compel the production of such books, papers, records and
documents as he may deem to be relevant to an investigation undertaken
pursuant to this section;

g. to monitor the implementation by the relevant office of his
recommendations and those of other investigative agencies;

h. to recommend policies relating to the prevention and detection of
fraud and abuse or the identification and prosecution of participants in
such fraud or abuse; and

i. to receive complaints of alleged failures of state and local
officials to prevent, detect and prosecute fraud and abuse.

4. Cooperation of agency officials and employees. a. In addition to
the authority otherwise provided by this section, the inspector, in
carrying out the provisions of this section, is authorized:

(i) to have full and unrestricted access to all records, reports,
audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations or other material
available to the department of social services and local social services
districts relating to programs and operations with respect to which the
inspector has responsibilities under this section;

(ii) to make such investigations relating to the administration of the
programs and operations of the department of social services as are, in
the judgment of the inspector, necessary or desirable; and

(iii) to request such information, assistance and cooperation from any
federal, state or local governmental department, board, bureau,
commission, or other agency or unit thereof as may be necessary for
carrying out the duties and responsibilities enjoined upon him by this
section. State and local agencies or units thereof are hereby authorized
and directed to provide such information, assistance and cooperation.

b. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to
the contrary, no person shall prevent, seek to prevent, interfere with,
obstruct or otherwise hinder any investigation being conducted pursuant
to this section. Section one hundred thirty-six of the social services
law shall in no way be construed to restrict any person or governmental
body from cooperating and assisting the inspector or his employees in
carrying out their duties under this section. Any violation of this
paragraph shall constitute cause for suspension or removal from office
or employment.

5. Establishment period. The governor shall nominate the initial
inspector as soon as is practicable but in no event later than sixty
days after the effective date of this section.

6. Reports required of the inspector. The inspector shall, no later
than February first of each year submit to the governor, the state
comptroller, the attorney general and the legislature a report
summarizing the activities of the office during the preceding calendar

7. Disclosure of information. a. The inspector shall not publicly
disclose information which is:

(i) a part of any ongoing investigation; or

(ii) specifically prohibited from disclosure by any other provision of

b. Notwithstanding paragraph a of this subdivision, any report under
this section may be disclosed to the public in a form which includes
information with respect to a part of an ongoing criminal investigation
if such information has been included in a public record.