Waste, Fraud, and Abuse reports increase

That’s the report from the state auditor, below. UO is now exempt from state audits, and its internal audit functions have been crippled since Brenda Muirhead and one (two?) of her staff left suddenly last November, after a series of disputes with VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s office. Their website doesn’t even provide the name of the current Interim Auditor:

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The office did make a report to the BOT, here. The gist is that nothing has been done, because of “nearly complete turnover in staffing during FY 16.”

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All kinds of important looking work has now been on hold for ~3 years:

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UO does pay for an off-site confidential hotline: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/41097/index.html. They will accept reports on a plethora of subjects:

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But who will investigate?

Meanwhile, here’s the Secretary of State’s press release about the efforts of their audit division – the one UO left, and has never replaced:

Confidential Hotline allows Oregonians to report concerns about waste, fraud, and abuse of public resources

SALEM — The Oregon Audits Division in the Office of the Secretary of State released its annual report on the Government Waste Hotline today. The 2015 report shows a 35 percent increase in complaints over the previous year.

“The increase in complaints from 2014 is in large part a reflection of the public’s increasing awareness about the Government Waste Hotline and increased outreach efforts to state employees,” said Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins. “This is good news. We want Oregonians to know that there is a confidential and secure way to report their concerns about possible waste, fraud, and abuse of public resources.”

State law provides confidentiality for the identity of any person making a report through the Hotline. Complaints come from both private citizens and state employees and include allegations of fraud, theft, unethical or improper workplace conduct, time theft, and misuse of state vehicles. Upon receiving a complaint, the Audits Division conducts an initial investigation of each report of alleged waste, inefficiency, or abuse to determine which reports warrant further investigation. The Audits Division is required to notify the Oregon Government Ethics Commission if potential violations of the Oregon ethics law are discovered. Law enforcement must be notified if potential criminal activity is discovered.

“Since the hotline’s inception, the Oregon Audits Division has estimated that they have detected about $16 million in questioned costs,” said Atkins. “Research shows that fraud is most often detected by tips from concerned citizens and state employees. This hotline serves as a check on the use of public resources and a deterrent to bad actors.”

A 2016 study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that tips are consistently the most common fraud detection method. The study showed that organizations with a reporting hotline have a much higher likelihood that fraud will be reported than organizations without a reporting hotline. As it looks like the future of AI is set to make an impact on businesses, hopefully this will help in detecting fraud in any industry and play a part in bringing customers and companies together.

The Government Waste Hotline was established in 1995 for public employees and members of the public to report alleged waste, inefficiency or abuse by state agencies, state employees, or persons under contract with state agencies. In addition to a toll-free telephone line, hotline reports may be submitted by email, fax and by directly calling the Audits Division.

Citizens and government employees with concerns about government waste and inefficiency can contact the hotline at (800) 336-8218, by fax at (503) 378-6767, or through mail by sending an envelope clearly marked “Confidential” to:

Confidential

Oregon Audits Division

Government Waste Hotline

255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 500

Salem, Oregon 97310

A copy of the 2015 report is available here.

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2 Responses to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse reports increase

  1. Nope says:

    How long is this office going to get a ‘pass’ from the BOT? The reports coming out of Internal Audit since Muirhead left are all fluff. Come on, their website isn’t even done…does it really take a full audit staff to accomplish that???

  2. anonymous says:

    maybe they’re trying to figure out how to model it after affirmative action…

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