On the Lookout: Fraud, Waste and Abuse Q2 Report

2019 La Controller

Fraud, Waste and Abuse Quarterly Report

Report for the Quarter Ending June 30, 2019


Key Figures


FWA Activity

For the quarter beginning April 1, 2019, and ending June 30 this year, the Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA) Unit received 123 new cases and closed 70 cases. As of the end of this quarter, the FWA Unit has a total of 144 open cases.

The FWA Unit’s evaluation of the 123 cases received between April and June 2019 determined that 31 (25 percent) were outside FWA Unit’s jurisdiction did not merit any further action.[1] Of the remaining cases, the FWA Unit referred 18 cases to other City departments or agencies for appropriate action.[2] Seventy-four cases were determined to require an investigation or additional review of which the FWA Unit referred 40 cases to the respective department; the FWA Unit retained the remaining 34 cases for investigation or additional review.

As of the end of this quarter, the FWA Unit closed a total of 70 cases. Thirty-four cases were outside FWA Unit’s jurisdiction and did not merit any further action, 19 cases were non-FWA investigative matters requiring department action, and 17 cases were investigated or reviewed. Of the 17 closed cases investigated or reviewed, 3 cases substantiated the allegations while 14 were found to be unsubstantiated.


Examples of Cases Closed this Quarter

  • Falsified Documents and Time Fraud – Resulted in the resignation of the employee. Referred to Ethics Commission that may result in additional disciplinary outcomes of the former employee.
  • Theft of Time – The investigation resulted in policy changes made within the department.
  • Misuse of Authority or Position – The department took remedial action to reassign the employee’s oversight of the area of concern raised in the FWA case.
  • Waste of Resources and Safety Issues – The department will provide additional training. Theft of time was the leading type of issue reported for cases received during the quarter, which accounted for 13 of the 74 cases determined to require an investigation or additional review.

The breakdown of cases requiring investigation or review by departments and the number of cases referred to departments for action are as follows:


FWA Metrics

This quarter, the majority of cases reported were anonymous. Most cases received were through the Controller’s Fraud Hotline through the web intake form or hotline phone calls. A small number of additional cases received were via email, U.S. mail, or in-person.

This quarter, the FWA Unit received 123 cases, compared to 132 cases in the prior quarter. The FWA Unit has received 255 cases for the first six months of the year compared to 159 cases for the first six months in the prior year, an increase of 60%. The Fraud Awareness Training deployed to all City departments, and offices in January 2019 has attributed to an increase in reported cases.


FWA Goals and Initiatives Update

The FWA Unit has focused our goals and initiatives into two key areas:

“Prevention Centered” FWA Team

  • FWA Investigators have met with nearly each City department general Manager and/or FWA Liaison to develop an individualized plan for each department to increase employee awareness of FWA.
  • FWA is actively working to develop new marketing materials and increase the visibility of FWA. Upcoming in-person FWA information sessions coordinated are with new employee training across different departments.

Data Intelligence

  • FWA is assisting the Fiscal Monitoring unit, in an upcoming Citywide data analysis report.