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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Whistleblower hotlines changing the way IGs respond to waste, fraud and abuse

As recently as a year ago, if a lower-priority report of waste, fraud or abuse arrived via the Defense Department's inspector general hotline, it could potentially sit in a processing queue for several months before receiving attention from investigators. But as of this March, the backlog is entirely gone, and even "priority three" cases are handled well within 30 days.

The department of Health and Human Services, which runs another of the government's busiest IG hotlines, has a similar story. A few years ago, the average processing time for incoming complaints was approximately six months. Today it's inside 30 days.

Federal officials who spoke to Federal News Radio as part of our special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees , said agencies, large and small, across government are improving their hotline programs, partially by embracing new technologies and partially through simple business process improvements — moving cases through the system more quickly and, in turn, more effectively meeting their core mission of allowing federal employees and members of the public to blow the whistle on fraud and threats to life and safety.

-Jared Serbu, FederalNewsRadio.com

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