Fraud, Waste, Abuse & Illegal Acts
Reporting fraud, waste or abuse or other ethics-related concerns:
- Call the OEA Ethics Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 855‐224‐0736. Note: Callers can remain Anonymous..
- Submit an online complaint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at https://pgcgovt.secure.force.com/ethics/PGC_OEA_Ethics_Complaint?formType=ec.
- Call the Office of Ethics and Accountability at 301-883-3445, Monday through Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm.
What happens to matters that are reported to the Office of Ethics and Accountability? Reported concerns and recommendations for investigations are reviewed by Ethics and Accountability staff to determine whether the concern is appropriate for the Office of Ethics and Accountability or should be referred to another agency or law enforcement. Once researched and, if necessary, investigated a report is generated and complainant is advised of the matter.
Ethics and Accountability receives information from all sources, including County residents and nonresidents, County government employees, and contractors. Reports may be made anonymously.
Our responsibility is to receive and evaluate concerns regarding fraud, waste, and abuse, and when appropriate, conduct an investigation. We refer concerns to management for a decision on any corrective action and/or to a prosecutor for potential criminal matters.
What is Fraud?
A misrepresentation of a material fact, knowingly or with reckless indifference to the truth, in order to obtain a benefit or payment to which one would normally not be entitled.
What is Waste?
The negligent or extravagant expenditure of County funds, incurring of expenses, or misuse of County resources or property.
What is Abuse?
The intentionally wrongful or improper use of County resources that can include the excessive or improper use of one's position, in a manner contrary to its rightful or legally intended use.
What is Misconduct or Illegal Activity?
The intentional, wanton, willful, deliberate, reckless act or actions in deliberate indifference to the County’s interest or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to the County.
Examples of activities that should be reported include:
- Fraud in areas such as contracting, procurement, workers' compensation, or expense claims
- Offer, payment, or acceptance of bribes or gratuities
- Falsification of financial records
- Arranging for secret profits, kickbacks, or commissions
- Undisclosed conflict of interest
- Misuse or theft of County funds or property
- Abuse of County position
- Substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- Whistleblower retaliation
When reporting information, be prepared to provide the following:
- The person(s) involved and title(s)
- How long
- How the caller knows
- Others who have knowledge
- When the incident occurred
- How often
- Is there documentation
- Any steps already taken