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County Grand Jury Says Government Agencies Need Better Internal Fraud Controls

Audio

Aired 5/28/10

The San Diego County Grand Jury wants 70 government agencies around the county to do more to prevent fraud and abuse within their organizations

The San Diego County Grand Jury wants 70 government agencies around the county to do more to prevent fraud and abuse within their organizations

The Grand Jury surveyed how the County, the City of San Diego, and the city’s Unified School District identify and control internal fraud.

Their report concludes the Unified School District has the best system to identify things like embezzlement, conflict of interest and falsified records. The district saves $3 for every dollar invested in the program.

Jury forewoman Victoria Stubblefield said the County’s internal system of controls for fraud is the weakest.

“If they were to publish a comprehensive code of ethics and initiate a county hotline, outsourced to a third party provider, I think we would see astonishing savings uncovering the fraud, waste and mismanagement in the County," she said.

The grand jury has recommendations for the County, all 18 cities, all 42 school districts, the port and the airport.

The recommendations are to adopt an integrated code of ethics, apply stronger internal controls, and set up an independent hotline, where people can leave tips about fraud and abuse anonymously.

The government agencies must respond within three months to a Superior Court Judge, either acting on the recommendations, or explaining why they are not.

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