2017 Annual Report on the Fraud and Waste Hotline
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The Fraud and Waste Hotline program has received more than 8,900 complaints about fraud, waste or wrongdoing at the City of Toronto since it was established in 2002.
In the past five years alone, the program has identified $17 million cumulative actual and potential losses, and $12.4 million in actual losses. The program also identified another $4.6 million in potential losses had the frauds not been detected.
Below is a summary of the program’s activities and achievements for 2017.
- 680 complaints in 2017 made up of approximately 1,060 allegations
- 100% of complaints reviewed
- 89% of complaints involved an AG preliminary investigation
- 37% or 251 complaints fully investigated
- 12% of 251 complaints investigated were substantiated in whole or in part. This number is expected to increase as outstanding 2017 complaints continue to be concluded in 2018
- Substantiated complaints include employee benefits fraud, subsidy fraud, conflicts of interest, operating a personal business, misuse of City resources, and time theft
- 38% of substantiated complaints were anonymous
- Actions taken include:
- 2 employment relationships being terminated
- 5 employees being disciplined
- 22 cases where other appropriate action was taken, including reinforcing workplace expectations and training
- $56,000 actual loss in 2017. This amount is expected to increase as outstanding 2017 complaints are concluded in 2018
- Toronto Building Division – Strengthening System Controls to Safeguard Cash Receipts, March 2017
- 1 confidential and 6 public recommendations to strengthen cash receipts controls
- Auditor General’s Observations of a Land Acquisition at Finch Avenue West and Arrow Road by the Toronto Parking Authority – Part 2, June 2017
- 6 recommendations to improve processes
- Estimated overpayment of over $2 million had the land deal closed
- Toronto Building Division – Conditional Permits, October 2017
- 17 recommendations to improve building conditional permits administration
- 15 permits reviewed. Development charges – $8 million lower than if objective criteria had been applied
- Review of Complaint Regarding the June 29, 2016, Toronto Transit Commission Briefing Note, October 2017
- Allegations not substantiated
- 3 recommendations to improve the preparation and distribution of briefing notes
- Auditor General’s Observations on the Quantity of Product Realized from the City’s Single Stream Recyclable Material (Blue Bin) Program, October 2017
- 4 recommendations to strengthen the program’s controls and oversight
The Hotline implemented a 24/7 independent and confidential call-answer service to support complainants. This service eliminated the need for complainants to leave a voicemail and instead provides complainants the opportunity to speak to a live agent