Salem, OR—Today, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson released the annual report on the activities of the Government Waste Hotline. http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Documents/2017-15.pdf
For background: Oregon's Government Waste Hotline was established in 1995 for members of the public and state employees to report alleged waste, inefficiency or abuse by state agencies, state employees or persons under contract with state agencies. The report released today shows the Hotline received 201 complaints in 2016.
“These complaints show the concern citizens and state employees in Oregon have, and reflect that they intend to hold state government accountable,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “Oregonians need to know that there is a confidential and secure way to report their concerns about possible waste, fraud, and abuse of public resources, and that their state government takes their concerns seriously.”
State law provides confidentiality for every person making a report through the Hotline. Complaints 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 if the report should be further investigated. The Audits Division is required to notify the Oregon Government Ethics Commission if potential violations of Oregon ethics laws are discovered. Law enforcement must be notified if potential criminal activity is discovered.
“The Audits Division has detected approximately $16 million in questionable costs since the Hotline's inception,” said Richardson. “It is an invaluable tool for citizens and state employees to make government better.”
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 of fraud being reported and addressed than do organizations without a reporting Hotline.
Citizens and state employees concerned about government waste and inefficiency should contact the Hotline at (800) 336-8218, by fax at (503) 378-6767, or through mail by sending an envelope clearly marked “Confidential” to:
Secretary of State Audits Division
Government Waste Hotline,
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 500
Salem, Oregon 97310