Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline
About the Hotline
The Fraud Hotline is designed for reporting suspected cases of fraud, waste, or abuse. The Fraud Hotline is not a substitute for employment-related grievances or appeals, as existing City policy and procedures provide channels for resolution of these issues.
Current City procedures and/or department instructions state that all reports should be sent through the chain of command. However, recognizing that employees are not always comfortable going through the chain of command, the Fraud Hotline is another vehicle to report fraud, waste, or abuse.
The City Auditor will at all times maintain the confidentiality of all reports, associated materials, working papers, and other documents. Similarly, Departments investigating allegations shall also maintain the confidentiality of all reports.
The City of San Diego will not retaliate, nor will it tolerate retaliation against those who, in good faith, report suspected fraud, waste, or abuse, or who participate in an investigation. An act of retaliation should be reported immediately to the City Auditor. In addition, those who bring matters to the Office of the City Auditor may be protected under the state Whistleblower Protection Act and the San Diego Municipal Code.
Fraud Hotline Process
In order to process your report, a minimum amount of information is needed. Please consider the following questions before making a report:
- Are you reporting fraud, waste, abuse that involves a City of San Diego employee, or a vendor doing business with the City of San Diego?
- Do you know the names and/or job titles of the people involved?
- Do you know how and where the alleged incident was committed, and the approximate timeframe?
- Do you have documents, images, or direct observation of the alleged incident?
All fraud, waste, or abuse reports involving City of San Diego employees or vendors will either be investigated by the Office of the City Auditor’s staff or referred to departments for investigation. The identity of the whistleblower will not be released without their prior written permission. If the report is not in purview of the City’s Fraud Hotline, the report will be forwarded to the appropriate government agency for review and possible investigation.
Fraud Hotline reports are reviewed by the City Auditor's Fraud Hotline Intake and Review Committee. This committee is composed of the following members or their designees (1) City Auditor, (2) Assistant City Auditor, (3) City Auditor’s Fraud Investigators, (4) Personnel Director, (5) Human Resources Director, and (6) Chief Compliance Officer. This committee will review reports and determine whether investigation is necessary.
In most cases, reports will be referred to Departments for further investigation by management at least one level higher than the subject of the investigation. Other fraud, waste, or abuse investigations will be conducted by Fraud Investigators in the Office of the City Auditor if management involvement is suspected, or other circumstances as determined by the City Auditor. The Fraud Hotline Intake and Review committee will review resolutions from departments for completeness and determine the most appropriate disposition.