3 HHS Oversight Programs Threatened By Sequestration

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | August 9, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General is reducing staff by about 400 this year, as it implements a 20 percent budget reduction from Congress’ continuing federal funding resolution, sequestration.

While federal agencies wait for Congress to pass a new budget, the OIG says it is going try to produce “fewer, but higher impact, reports.” Nonetheless, with 20 percent fewer staff, about 1,400 after the layoffs this year, the watchdog office may have to let some investigations and audits go for lack of resources. Already, a complaint hotline is reported to be backlogged by about 1,200.

WIth sequestration, the OIG’s work may not go as far as it has in recent years — helping HHS save or recoup up to $20 billion a year — and it may not be able to offer influence is areas without high costs, but still important, like business processes.