published Friday, January 4th, 2013

Tennessee launches online tool for reporting fraud

NASHVILLE — Interested in reporting cases of fraud, waste and abuse of public funds in Tennessee?

Starting today, would-be whistle-blowers can use the Internet to alert state Comptroller Justin Wilson's office about suspected state and local government misuse of public dollars.

Since 1983, the comptroller's office has maintained a toll-free telephone hotline for reporting problems. Officials have received more than 17,000 calls. But Tennessee lawmakers last year expanded the law to let government workers and citizens voice their concerns more easily online.

The site is at http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/shared/safwa.asp. Users can post anonymously if they wish. Those making reports should try to provide as much detail as possible about their allegations. Officials also encourage them to attach files containing supporting documentation that may help those reviewing allegations.

"In this day and age, it makes sense to give people the option to send us fraud reports online," Wilson said in a statement. "This is another tool to help ensure that public money is being spent properly in Tennessee. I encourage people to take advantage of this new service if they have reason to suspect fraud, waste or abuse has occurred."

Information received over the Internet will be reviewed by the comptroller's staff and investigated or referred to the appropriate agencies or departments when warranted.

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