January 24, 2007 Hotline alone is not enough to root out fraud,waste The fraud hotline set up by L.A. City Controller Laura Chick is a fine idea. What the city and county governments need is forceful follow through.Any effort to reduce waste and fraud in government gets our nod. And the 24-hour, independent fraud hotline set up last week by LosAngeles City Controller Laura Chick deserves credit for being an important part of the effort to make government work better and be more accountable.Chick estimates that anonymous calls to the hotline could help the city identify millions of dollars that are wasted or stolen. After all, it was a whistle blower's inquiries that led the city to investigate Fleishman-Hillard public relations for allegedly over billing the Department of Water and Power.Compiling tips about possible fraud and waste of public funds is a praise worthy goal, but knowing about a problem doesn't automatically mean it gets fixed. That's because civil service rules protect the violators better than the public. City Hall has trouble firing employees who don't do their jobs or who even steal from the city, and it's taken more than a decade and a fortune in civil suit settlements, to get officials to do something about widespread hazing and discrimination in the Fire Department.
The concern about Chick's hotline is that it will have the same fate as LosAngeles County's, which has been around for nearly two decades. Yet reports of fraud keep going up.Now there's suspicion that fraud by employees and those on public assistance accounts for as much as 10percent of the county's annual operating budget, or about $2 billion ayear.By itself, a whistle blower hotline is just a red herring.Unless the city couples that with decisive action by prosecuting wrong doers, all the tips in the world won't end the abuse of government funds.KEW: My opinion is that the government should have the same fate as the public does when the pubic comments fraud they go to jail, There should be new rules put into office to be able to fire and prosecut the government thieves. Any government official should not be treated as a hire being, They should be treated the same as any one else .the people of the U.S.A are the only ones that can make that happen