April 26, 2012
Secretary Brown urges the public to call hotline if they suspect fraud and abuse of state funds
SALEM – The Secretary of State’s Audits Division released a new report today that showed the hotline received 149 reports during 2011. The resulting investigations and audits identified over $7 million of misdirected funds, errors in federal awards, and questioned costs.
“The hotline is a critical part in how we find waste in government and evaluate government spending,” Brown said. “The eyes and ears of the public play a huge role in alerting us to anything that may be suspicious. Oregonians must be proactive in helping us make sure their tax money is spent wisely and efficiently.”
The nature of the 2011 calls ranged from requests for information to tips that led to investigations. Nine such queries remain open. The report is issued annually.
Since the inception of the hotline in 1995, callers have helped identify more than $16 million in questionable expenditures. That includes misappropriated public and private funds, money not spent in accordance with the laws, errors in federal awards, and potential savings from improved efficiencies and the elimination of waste and abuse.
Public access to the hotline will play a critical role in monitoring how the state spends state money, said Gary Blackmer, director of the Oregon Audits Division.
“Taxpayers benefit from the vigilance of the public,” Blackmer said. “The caller’s identity is kept confidential to offer a safe place to report wrong-doing.”
The toll-free Government Waste Hotline is (800) 336-8218. The public can also report suspicions to online at fraud.oregon.gov.
The audit can be found at www.sos.state.or.us/audits.