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Ocga 34924 Fraud And Compliance Unit Creation And Duties Limitation On Liability Authority Whistle Blower Protection

(a)  There is established within the office of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation a fraud and compliance unit.  This unit shall assist the chairperson in administratively investigating allegations of fraud and noncompliance and in developing and implementing programs to prevent fraud and abuse.  The unit shall promptly notify the appropriate prosecuting attorney’s office of any action which involves criminal activity.  When so required or requested by the chairperson or the specific district attorney, the unit shall cooperate with the district attorney in the investigation and prosecution of criminal violations.

(b)  The State Board of Workers’ Compensation or any employee or agent thereof is not subject to civil liability for libel, slander, or any other relevant tort, and no civil cause of action of any nature exists against such persons by virtue of the execution of activities or duties under this Code section or by virtue of the publication of any report or bulletin related to the activities or duties under this Code section.

(c)  Fraud investigators employed in the fraud and compliance unit who are certified in compliance with Chapter 8 of Title 35 shall have the authority to execute search warrants and make arrests pursuant to warrants only if such warrants have been issued as the result of a criminal investigation of an alleged violation of this chapter.  Such fraud investigators are authorized to serve subpoenas in connection therewith.

(d)  In the absence of fraud or malice, no person or entity who furnishes to the board information relevant and material to suspected fraud under or noncompliance with the workers’ compensation laws of this state shall be liable for damages in a civil action or subject to criminal prosecution for the furnishing of such information.

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