GAO's FraudNet Hotline Ready to Help Combat Fraud Under COVID-19 Assistance
Washington, DC (April 10, 2020) - As billions of dollars are distributed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is urging private citizens, government workers, contractors, and others to report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement to FraudNet. FraudNet is the congressional watchdog agency’s hotline that processes allegations submitted via the Internet, e-mail, or phone about federal agencies and federally funded programs.
"The public can play a critical role in helping to identify improper activities or weaknesses in programs that warrant scrutiny. And FraudNet can play an important role in alerting GAO, potentially early on, to questionable uses of CARES Act funds," said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. ”The Act has set aside over two trillion dollars to address the public health emergency and related economic impacts. Experience tells us that the risk of fraud and abuse grows when large sums are spent quickly, eligibility requirements are being established or changed, and new programs created." Dodaro added.
To report allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse, the public can visit the FraudNet website at http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet. Although the website is the preferred reporting method, allegations can also be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by calling 1-800-424-5454 (an automated phone answering system).
Allegations may be provided anonymously, and GAO treats all inquiries confidentially. Internet information is transmitted over a secure connection. Tipsters are asked to provide as much detail as possible about their allegations. GAO may refer allegations for follow-up to its own investigative unit, appropriate inspector general offices, or to the Department of Justice. Past reports of alleged mismanagement and wrongdoing have involved such varied topics as the misappropriation of funds, security violations, and contractor fraud.
The CARES Act requires GAO to issue a report on its oversight of CARES Act spending 90 days after enactment; issue bi-monthly reports through the first year; and conduct oversight of the programs covered by the CARES Act, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at (202) 512-4800.
The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.