BigNews.Biz - Mar 15,2017 - McCaskill Calls for Increased Accountability at the Social Security Administration
Senator: More transparency would ensure ‘no penny in Social Security is wasted’
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called for the Social Security Administration to make public reports on waste, fraud, and abuse investigations they conduct and requested information on any allegations of misconduct in Missouri.
“All taxpayers deserve to know when government is misusing funds and how we’re going to fix it,” said McCaskill, former Missouri State Auditor. “More transparency at the Social Security Administration allows us to target waste, fraud, and abuse to ensure that no penny in Social Security is wasted.”
The request from McCaskill follows a letter from the Social Security Administration Acting Inspector General detailing the agency’s potential concerns with making public their investigation reports. “Having [Social Security Administration Inspector General] reports publically available and accessible will increase transparency and accountability agency wide. Moreover, Congress can use the information obtained from whistleblowers and witnesses to shed light on waste, fraud, and misconduct within the agency, perform greater oversight, and continue to hold agencies accountable in all manners,” McCaskill wrote in her letter to the Acting Inspector General. McCaskill asked for a timeline of when the agency will finalize and implement their policies on this issue. In addition, given allegations of misconduct and whistleblower retaliation at Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability and Review (ODAR) hearing offices in states, McCaskill requested to know if there have been any similar investigations at Missouri ODAR hearing offices.
Protecting Social Security benefits and advocating for the program’s recipients have been a top priority for McCaskill throughout her time in the U.S. Senate. Previously serving as the top Democrat on the Senate Aging Committee, McCaskill worked with Republican Senator Susan Collins to highlight the retirement security crisis. McCaskill has repeatedly fought efforts to privative Social Security and Medicare—rather than pushing Missouri’s seniors into the private health insurance market and turning their retirement over to Wall Street investors. In 2015, McCaskill embarked on a statewide tour of Missouri during which she heard directly from seniors about what they need for a comfortable retirement.