Nov. 12-18, 2023 is International Fraud Awareness Week, and the Multnomah County Auditor's Office is an official supporting organization. We're launching enhancements to the Good Government Hotline to make it easier than ever to report suspected fraud, waste, inefficiency, or abuse of position in Multnomah county government.
Good Government Hotline enhancements
- We’ve updated the Good Government Hotline reporting portal and streamlined our intake questions. If you want to make a report online, the reporting process will take less time than ever.
- You can use our web-based app to make a report. When you scan the QR code with your phone or go to www.goodgovmobile.ethicspoint.com, you can make a report in one of seven languages through an abbreviated reporting process. To check back on your report, you can easily save your report’s unique follow-up code and password to your phone.
- We have a new feature, called “Ask a Question.” If you’re not sure whether something you saw or heard is fraud, you can simply ask us a question. We’ll get back to you by email, phone, or through our reporting portal (you can remain anonymous if you choose).
You can always call 888-289-6839. Hotline representatives can receive your concern 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and translation services are available for more than 150 languages.
November 12-18 is International Fraud Awareness Week
The Multnomah County Auditor’s Office is a supporting organization of International Fraud Awareness Week. The Auditor’s Office manages the Good Government Hotline so that employees and Multnomah County community members can report fraud, waste, or abuse of position that relates to county operations or funding.
What is fraud?
In the broadest sense, fraud includes actions that are meant to deceive for financial or personal gain. It is any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another of property or money by deception or other unfair means. Examples of fraud include:
- Theft of county property or cash
- Manipulation of financial statements or records
- Personal purchases made with a county-issued credit card
- Paying fake vendors or fake employees
- Soliciting or accepting a bribe or kickback
- Personal use of county funding
Why should we care about fraud?
When fraud occurs, it strains resources and can affect an organization’s ability to complete its mission. Fraud occurring in Multnomah County government could affect vital public services, and damage the county’s reputation. In the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the Nations, anti-fraud professionals estimate that the typical organization loses 5% of its revenue annually to fraud.
Why do people commit fraud?
Dr. Donald Cressey was one of the first individuals to study how white-collar criminals differ from violent offenders. Part of Dr. Cressey’s work on occupational fraud included the development of the Fraud Triangle. According to this theory, three elements must be present for occupational fraud to occur: rationalization, pressure, and opportunity.
People use rationalization to justify or excuse their criminal behavior and to maintain a positive image of themselves. They might tell themselves that they’re only “borrowing” the money and will repay it at the first chance they get, or they could believe they’re underpaid for their work and therefore deserve extra compensation.
This is a non-shareable problem — typically financial in nature — that drives a person to commit fraud. Examples of these types of pressures include a gambling or drug habit, personal debt or poor credit, a significant financial loss, or peer or family pressure to succeed.
This refers to the perceived ability to commit fraud. A person must think that they have the opportunity to execute their scheme successfully. This opportunity could present itself as a lack of anti-fraud controls, such as a process that lacks separation of duties. Or an employee could be in a position to override internal controls or manipulate documents.
What can employees and community members do to help prevent fraud?
Tips are by far the most common method of identifying fraud. Sharing tips to the Good Government Hotline is one way that employees and community members can help ensure that taxpayer funds are used properly and go toward vital public services.