Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Establishment of waste and fraud hotline for Tampa employees on city's agenda

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TAMPA — The City Council will be asked today to approve the creation of an internal hotline where city employees could confidentially report waste, fraud and abuse.

"I want to give our employees, to some degree, an ownership stake in what we do here, and an opportunity that, if they detect something that doesn't smell right, they have a way to let us know in a way that protects their anonymity," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Wednesday. "I don't think they're going to find much. I think we run a pretty clean shop."

Starting in February, the city's 4,200 employees could call the hotline or use a website managed by a private company to report:

• Inefficient or wasteful use of city resources.

• Official misconduct, conflicts of interest and other ethical lapses.

• Personal use of city-owned vehicles or equipment.

• Violations of the city's procurement policies.

• Tampering with public records.

Buckhorn said the city's internal audit department suggested creating the service.

The city proposes to pay The Network Inc., a company based just outside of Atlanta, $17,500 over two years to establish and manage the system. Once the hotline and website were established, city employees could make reports around the clock seven days a week.

They also could make general inquiries about subjects like payroll or benefits and be referred to the appropriate office for an answer.

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