2019 Annual Report on the Fraud and Waste Hotline
- More than 10,000 complaints received since 2002
- 587 complaints in 2019 made up of approximately 950 allegations
- 100% of complaints reviewed
- 86% of complaints involved a preliminary investigation
- 23% (137 complaints) fully investigated; 13% of those complaints were substantiated in whole or in part
- 11% of substantiated complaints were anonymous
- Actions taken include:
- 5 employees disciplined
- 13 other appropriate actions taken
- $101,000 actual loss in 2019. This amount is expected to increase as outstanding complaints are concluded in 2020
- A major investigation that resulted in a report being issued to Audit Committee was entitled “Investigation into Allegations of Reprisal: Reprisal Not Found, But Lessons Learned”.
- A new complaint management system was implemented, and the Forensic Unit has been successfully operating the new system since December 2019.
- Highlights of the new system include:
- the ability for complainants to upload files and anonymously communicate with the Auditor General’s Office through a secure portal
- modernizing the tracking and documentation of complaints through their lifecycle
- extensive reporting capabilities
The Disclosure of Wrongdoing and Reprisal Protection policy, part of the Toronto Public Service By-law (the By-law), outlines the responsibility for employees to report wrongdoing.
The By-law requires:
- all City employees who are aware that wrongdoing has occurred to immediately notify their manager, their Division Head, or the Auditor General’s Office;
- allegations of wrongdoing received by Division Heads, Deputy City Managers or the City Manager to be immediately reported to the Auditor General.
The Auditor General’s Office will refresh our communication initiatives for 2020 to raise awareness on employee responsibility to report wrongdoing.
In addition, we will encourage and remind members of the public and City staff of the usefulness of the City’s Fraud & Waste Hotline Program.
- Protect City assets
- Reduce losses
- Deter fraud, wrongdoing and waste
- Strengthen internal controls
- Improve policies and procedures
- Increase operational efficiencies
- Identify trends, address risks, make action-oriented recommendations to management and inform the audit work plan
In 2002, a Fraud and Waste Hotline was established to allow employees, Councillors and members of the public to report allegations of fraud, waste or other wrongdoing without fear of retribution.