Ottawa, June 20 2016 – Auditor General Ken Hughes today tabled his 2015 report on the Fraud and Waste Hotline, showing 319 anonymous reports from city employees and the public were handled by his office in the past year. This volume represents a 92% increase from the previous year and a record number of reports since the Hotline was initiated in 2005.
“I believe the 319 reports reflect increased awareness of this valuable Hotline service and not necessarily an increase in undesirable activity by staff,” said Mr. Hughes upon tabling. “Since my first stand-alone tabling of the Hotline report a year ago, there has been a noticeable spike in interest by the public and employees.”
As a result of investigations, 6 employees were terminated and one resigned. Other cases were resolved through management and employee discussions and, in some cases, multiple day suspensions.
The largest area of reporting (84 cases) involved unauthorized use or misuse of City property, information or time. This was followed by violation of laws, regulations, policies and procedures (39), unethical conduct or conflict of interest (26), suggestions for improvements (24) theft, embezzlement and fraud (21), and health, safety and the environment (7).
“With increased interest in the Hotline, about 25% of my staff time is devoted to handling the reports and conducting follow-ups with management,” said Mr Hughes.
In a separate investigation prompted by information from management, the Auditor General investigated missing cash at the City’s main client service centre. A total of $1,075 was unaccounted for but auditors were unable to conclude whether error or misappropriation was the cause.