Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Rep. McGregor’s Legislation to Enact Whistleblower Protections Passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS—As the State of Ohio explores strategies for saving tax dollars and making spending more accountable, the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 66, which will create a reporting mechanism for Ohio citizens and public employees to report the fraud, waste and abuse of tax dollars.
Specifically, House Bill 66 will require the Ohio Auditor of State to maintain the Ohio Fraud Reporting System for anonymously reporting fraud and compel government entities to provide information about the fraud reporting system to their employees. Under the Ohio Whistleblower Protection Act, it also protects those employees who report the misuse of public resources to the toll-free hotline, Auditor of State’s web site or through the U.S. Postal Service.
“This legislation will offer public employees one more avenue through which they can anonymously report theft or misuse of tax dollars,” said McGregor, who sponsored the bill. “House Bill 66 is a valuable tool for the protection of taxpayer dollars, one that is sorely needed during these difficult economic times.”
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, nearly half of all fraud that is detected in government agencies is reported through tips. The median amount of loss and waste that is experienced by an entity is reduced by 50 percent for organizations with an anonymous fraud hotline.
House Bill 66 passed by a vote of 96-0 and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.