DOD Fraud Hotline:

Generally Effective but Some Changes Needed

AFMD-86-9: Published: Mar 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the efficiency of the Department of Defense (DOD) Fraud Hotline as a means of receiving and processing allegations of waste, fraud, and mismanagement in DOD, focusing on: (1) the adequacy of Hotline procedures for receiving, recording, and referring allegations for investigation; (2) the independence of investigators working on Hotline allegations; (3) the completeness and thoroughness of the investigative work; and (4) the extent of Hotline staff efforts to review and analyze completed investigative report findings for possible patterns, trends, and systematic weaknesses in DOD programs and operations.

In its analysis of 127 investigated allegations, GAO found that: (1) the individuals who investigated the allegations were not always sufficiently objective; (2) some of the cases lacked sufficient documentary evidence to fully support the investigator's statements and conclusions; (3) the investigative reports were incomplete and did not comply with DOD reporting requirements; and (4) the Hotline staff did not comply with policies for following up on completed investigations. Further, the Hotline has no formal process for evaluating the quality of the investigative efforts. Since the Hotline has been under the DOD Office of the Inspector General (OIG), adequate policies and procedures have been established for receiving, controlling, and screening allegations. Without a proper quality review process and standardized review criteria, there is no way for the Hotline to ensure the quality and consistency of the work being done on the allegations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD revised DOD Directive 7050.1 to implement this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that DOD Hotline allegations are being investigated independently, objectively, and thoroughly, the Secretary of Defense should reemphasize to the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force the need to ensure that: (1) DOD Hotline allegations are investigated by individuals who are independent and objective; and (2) investigations are properly documented and thoroughly reported.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD revised DOD Directive 7050.1 to implement this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Inspector General (IG), DOD, should revise DOD Directive 7050.1 to provide the services with better guidance on the types of documents and evidence, which should be obtained and kept in Hotline-type investigative case files, and enforce the requirements and standards contained in Directive 7050.1, as revised. For example, IG could establish a process to periodically perform a quality assurance review on selected closed investigations to: (1) evaluate compliance with DOD standards and requirements; and (2) ensure that promised corrective actions have occurred.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Inspector General

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD revised DOD Directive 7050.1 to implement this recommendation.

    Recommendation: OIG should consider analyzing the information contained in the Hotline computerized database. Analysis could focus attention on particular problems warranting review and may identify apparent chronic delays in completing investigations, repeated requests that work be redone, and inconsistencies between the services' handling of Hotline allegations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Inspector General

 

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