City Auditor: Roanoke fraud hotline getting job done - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

City Auditor: Roanoke fraud hotline getting job done

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As Municipal Auditor, it's Drew Harmon's job to make sure the City of Roanoke does its job as effectively and ethically as possible.

"I hope the people in Roanoke feel like they have a responsive government," said Harmon.  "I hope they feel that the government polices itself to some degree and tries to do the right thing."

It's why his office launched a Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline last year -- giving city employees, city contractors, and members of the public an extra avenue to report any questionable calls by city staff.  Harmon says he's been pleased with the response to the hotline.

"I do think it's been an effective tool," said Harmon.

From April 2012 through September 4, 2013, the hotline received 26 total reports.  11 of them are currently under investigation by the Municipal Auditor's Office and seven of them, they determined, were substantiated.

"I do think that some of the things that have come up that we've investigated wouldn't have been brought to our attention [otherwise]," said Harmon.  "At least not as soon as they have been."

In February, a complaint filed on the hotline about time abuse in the city's Billings & Collections Department revealed some larger issues with the management there.  Following Harmon's investigation, city leaders fired one manager and relocated a second to a non-supervisory position in a different department.  Two experienced managers were then brought in to replace them.

"That one, we do feel like was good work," said Harmon.  "It helped the city in terms of looking at the structure and it helped the employees address an issue that had been out there for a little while."

To that end, Harmon says the hotline is off to a good start -- and he hopes it will continue to be effective for many more years to come.


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