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City fraud complaints diminish slightly

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Jo Clifton

The City Auditor’s Integrity Unit continues to receive a wide variety of complaints about city officials, employees and contractors, but the first half of Fiscal Year 2016-17 showed a decline in allegations received compared to FY 2015-16. Nathan Wiebe, who leads the integrity unit, told the City Council Audit and Finance Committee Wednesday that his group received 112 complaints during the first half of FY 2016-17, compared to 142 complaints in the first half of FY 2015-16 and 164 complaints in the second half of FY 2015-16. He noted that the unit received an increased portion of its complaints through its anonymous hotline program, with 73 percent of complaints received coming through the hotline. Only 21 percent of complaints received were by direct contact and 6 percent were referrals from departments or audits, he said. Only 33 percent of the allegations received were within the integrity unit’s jurisdiction, Wiebe said. Roughly 46 percent of the allegations his unit could not address revolved around personnel issues, with another 46 percent related to what he called “operational issues” and 8 percent related to criminal matters, he said. The department completed 11 investigations in the first half of the fiscal year, and found sufficient evidence to indicate a violation had occurred in eight of those cases, he said.

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