What is the Auditor’s Fraud Hotline?
The City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline gives City of Portland government employees and community members a way to anonymously report suspected fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position. It’s a reporting system administered by the elected, independent Auditor to ensure the objective review of reports.
An anonymous reporting system like this can be the most useful tool in discovering and reducing losses due to fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position. Having a reporting system also reinforces the message that all City officials and employees are expected to follow the highest standards of ethical and legal behavior and to act as stewards of public resources.
Why should I report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse?
Waste of City resources impacts services we all rely on, including our police, fire, parks and transportation systems. Fraud and abuse are not right and not fair – someone taking resources from the City or arranging a benefit for a person or entity for which they do not qualify leave the City with less to provide services to all Portland residents.
How can I make a report of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to the Fraud Hotline?
The City Auditor contracts with an outside company, EthicsPoint to take reports. There are two ways you can make an anonymous report, 24-hours a day and 365 days a year:
- Either by toll-free phone number 1-866-342-4148. Reports will be taken by a live intake specialist at EthicsPoint. Calls are not recorded and caller ID is disabled.
- Or through a secure online reporting system. Follow the “Report Online” link and select the type of report you would like to make. You can also choose to disclose your identity if you wish when you make a report through either of these two methods.
What kinds of things should I report?
The Fraud Hotline is for reports of any dishonest acts by or against the City (such as by City agencies, employees, contractors, vendors, board members, etc.), or about the improper use of City resources or positions. It’s not for complaints relating to services (i.e., potholes, taxes, etc.).
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional deception or misrepresentation, by act or omission, that results or could result in a benefit for a person or entity to which they are not entitled. Fraud can include theft of money or equipment, use of equipment for personal gain, or soliciting a bribe or kickback.
Waste: Waste involves the careless or extravagant expenditure of City funds or the misuse or mismanagement of City resources, including incurring unnecessary costs because of inefficient practices. Waste does not have to involve a private use or personal gain and can be intentional or unintentional.
Abuse: Abuse may involve the improper use of a City position to obtain a benefit or advantage. Abuse may also involve the improper use or destruction of City records or other resources, or a seriously improper practice. Abuse may include stopping an enforcement action by the City, or abuse of City time, travel, or equipment.
Please refer to Reportable Incidents and Examples of Fraud, Waste, and Abusefor examples of fraud, waste and abuse. Or you may view the available report types at www.portlandfraudhotline.com, under Report Online.
What happens to a report made to the Fraud Hotline?
The City Auditor’s Audit Services Division takes all reports seriously and will respond in a timely manner. For every report received, Audit Services will do some preliminary fact finding to decide how to proceed. Depending on those facts Audit Services will do one of the following:Conduct its own investigation;Refer the report to another City bureau or the City Ombudsman for further investigation, review, and/or response; Notify and assist law enforcement Conduct a full audit; or Close the case if it lacks merit or sufficient information.
How do I find out what the City Auditor did with my report?
When you make an anonymous report to the Fraud Hotline you will receive a unique code called a Report Key. By using this Report Key you can – still anonymously – check back by phone or online to see the status of your case. The City Auditor’s Audit Services Division will notify the person who filed the report of the outcome of their report through posting an update to the online Fraud Hotline.
Should I be reporting this to the Fraud Hotline or not?
Not sure if what you saw or suspect is worth reporting? File a report. We would rather you report a situation that turns out to be harmless than let fraud or waste go unchecked.
What happened to the OpenCity Tipline?
The Fraud Hotline was previously called the “OpenCity Tipline” and operated by the Office of the Ombudsman. The City Auditor transferred management of the hotline to the Audit Services Division of the Auditor’s Office in 2018 and renamed it the “Fraud Hotline.”