Internal Reporting of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
VDH senior management supports the reporting of suspected fraud, waste, abuse, wrong doing, or policy violations directly to the Director of Internal Audit (804-864-7450 or firstname.lastname@example.org). In fact, the VDH Code of Ethics and Administrative Policy requires employees to report suspected wrongdoing:
Code of Ethics:
Commitment 09: “Report suspected wrongful conduct promptly. Promptly report suspected fraud and alleged violations of the Code of Virginia or the agency Code of Ethics to their supervisor, to the Internal Audit Department, or to the anonymous State Employee Hotline number for investigation.”
VDH Administrative Policy: Reporting Losses and Thefts & Violations of VDH Code of Ethics (Office of Internal Audit Policy #1.01):
“Immediately upon becoming aware of suspected fraud, waste, abuse, material financial loss, suspected criminal activity, theft of agency property, and violations of the ethics policy, an employee shall report his/her concerns to his/her supervisor. The supervisor immediately notifies their chain of command and the Director of Internal Audit. Internal Audit assesses the complaint, initiates an investigation and prepares findings and recommendations.”
Reporting allegations internally is often helpful in gathering information as the investigator is familiar with agency’s policies, processes, and environment, and the investigator can respond earlier on time sensitive cases. All internally reported allegation are communicated to OSIG, State and/or Capital Police, and other officials as deemed necessary according to State Code requirements.
Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Definitions
Fraud: The intentional deception by an individual or individuals which could result in a tangible or intangible benefit to themselves, others, or the Commonwealth or could cause detriment to others or the Commonwealth. Fraud includes a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading statements, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives or is intended to deceive.
Waste: The intentional or unintentional, thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use, or squandering of Commonwealth resources. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs due to inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.
Abuse: Excessive or improper use of a thing or policy, or employment of something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use. Intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, misapplication, mistreatment, or misuse of resources. Extravagant or excessive use as to abuse one’s position or authority. Abuse can occur in financial or nonfinancial settings.
What is Needed for an Effective Investigation
- Factual and timely information
- Circumstances of the incident
- Subject(s) involved
- Identify any evidence that is available
- Identify any available documentation and location
- Dates, times, names, places
- Credible witnesses
- In essence, the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how often
- Develop appropriate corrective action plans to mitigate opportunities for fraud, waste, and abuse
- Take appropriate disciplinary action
Office of the State Inspector General Hotline
On October 9, 2012, through Executive Order Number 52 (2012), the State Employee Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline was expanded to all citizens of Virginia, not just State employees, and its name was changed to the State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline. Cases received by OSIG are most likely referred to individual State Agency Internal Audit Directors for investigation and reporting to the OSIG. Reports made to the State Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline (Hotline) are anonymous and confidential. You may contact the Hotline by:
- Toll-Free Phone Number (within Virginia)
(800) 723-1615 (No voicemail, no caller ID)
- Mailing Address
Attention: State Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline
PO Box 1151
Richmond, VA 23218
All investigations, working papers, and reports are handled confidentially. Reports for substantiated cases are accessible through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and can be released only by OSIG.