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Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, left, is pictured in this file photo.

NASHVILLE — Confidential tips to a state waste, fraud and abuse hotline helped identify a record $1.12 million in confirmed thefts, shortages and questioned costs during the Fiscal Year 2015 that ended last July, according to Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson.

Officials say the tips, reported via telephone and online submissions, involved a wide range of entitites including municipal and county governments, state agencies, federal agencies and nonprofit recipients of taxpayer funds.

"The hotline plays an important role in holding government accountable to its citizens," Wilson said in a news release. "While I'm pleased to see the hotline is serving its purpose, the ultimate goal is to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in government."

Wilson's office says "substantive notifications" are reviewed and investigated by Comptroller staff or referred to appropriate agencies or programs for further action.

The Comptroller of the Treasury has provided a toll-free hotline for any citizen to report government fraud, waste and abuse since 1983. Moreover, all state agencies, as well as agencies receiving community grant funds, are required to call attention to the hotline by posting a sign in a prominent place.

If you suspect or know of abuse in how public money is spent in Tennessee, call the Comptroller's toll-free Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline at (800) 232-5454. Or, you can file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. You can follow the Comptroller's office on twitter @TNCOT.

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