Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Safeguarding Against Fraud, Waste, and Abuse: Whistleblower Protections and Tips Hotlines in Special-Purpose and Local Governments
by Pattison, Deborah, M.S., Utica College, 2017, 133; 10687422
Abstract (Summary)

Savvy and opportunistic fraudsters increasingly target smaller governmental organizations. Insufficient transparency and disjointed accountability over controls nurture the hidden nature of occupational fraud and allow wrongdoing to escalate during decades of routine operations. Criminal sentencings confirm local government and education officials misusing their positions and placing their own interests above those of their communities. Both primary case studies—a municipal crime in the City of Dixon, Illinois and corruption inside Roslyn, New York’s Union Free School District—illustrate how embezzling more than $65 million remained undetected over thirty years until tip disclosure. The extension of unmerited trust created insufficient segregation of duties among employees and low monitoring left public resources vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption. The project holds ternary importance for risk management since one-third of small entities experience fraud, traditional external auditing identifies fraud in less than five percent of instances, and receiving anonymous tips through reporting hotlines improves detection by up to 20% and reduces losses (ACFE, 2016). The project examined stakeholder speak-up strategies including whistleblower protections and tips hotline (WP&TH) initiatives to understand how organizational context, willful blindness, information access, and citizen engagement affect local government’s focus on fraud detection and remediation. Case studies show WP&TH initiatives to be financially and operationally superior in identifying risk and promoting transparency in small local governments. Third-party, 24/7 call centers and anonymous, two-way dialog web/text are underutilized tools for recognizing fraud precursors and stopping them before they aggregate, escalate, or become institutional norm.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Choo, Kyung-Seok
School: Utica College
Department: Economic Crime Management
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ethics, Public administration, Public policy
Keywords: Dr. kyung-seok choo, Economic crime management, Fairness and justice, Fraud hotline, Internal control, White-collar crime
Publication Number: 10687422
ISBN: 978-0-355-54160-1
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