Presented at the Mar. 14 meeting of the Jacksonville City Council, the Jacksonville Inspector General’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016 offers a look into “fraud, waste, and abuse” in city government.
Among the details in the 34-page document: “time and attendance fraud, overtime fraud, misrepresentation of educational credentials, failure to meet promotional qualifications for positions held, and secondary employment,” read an email from the IG’s office to various stakeholders in city government.
Among the accomplishments cited by interim IG Steve Rohan: a potential understatement of the city’s capital assets to the tune of $276M), $690,000 secreted away in purchase order and contract accounts that could be reappropriated (of $3.3M identified by the office), and $6,089 in court-ordered restitution relating to employee misconduct.
Rohan’s report described an office scaled back from the ambitious, yet unrealized, vision of his immediate predecessor, “to a new vision of targeted growth based upon demonstrable needs and results.”
“This was deemed to be more consistent with historical notions of Consolidated Government fiscal restraint. For that reason, only one new investigator position and a part-time executive assistant position were pursued and secured in the FY 2017 budget process,” Rohan wrote.
The office budget increased year over year, from $811,000 to $931,000, as a result of those adds.
The office received 83 complaints in FY 2016, with Public Works, Neighborhoods, and JEA generating over a third of them.
In FY 15 and 16, 183 complaints in total were received. Half of them have been closed.
The office cited a number of successful investigations to illustrate its work.
A city employee “had engaged in official misconduct relating to misuse of a City-owned vehicle, and .. unloaded unknown materials from the City-owned vehicle.”
He also got paid $1,767 in unauthorized overtime, revealing that Traffic Engineering was failing in oversight as to logged overtime for graveyard shift employees.
Similar false reportage of time was made by a Solid Waste division employee, who got $3,751 he didn’t earn.
Misrepresentation of educational credentials was another issue that rocked the hallowed halls of the St. James Building in FY 2016, with multiple instances.
Breaches in confidentiality also were concerns of, and rectified by, the OIG.
One issue: “ongoing mass email distribution of annual benefit enrollment letters that would have contributed to a citywide breach of confidentiality of JSO employees,” via disclosing their addresses.
Another issue: Employee Services receiving protected information from employment candidates via return email, rather than a more secure medium.
Expect interesting audits in the coming months: including of Sports and Entertainment, the Solid Waste division, and, perhaps most tantalizingly, Procurement Cards.