For refugee program, we need something more than Inspector General Hotlines!
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 5, 2016
From time to time I hear from people who have some waste, fraud, or abuse they want to report involving the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program (RAP).
You do know that both the US State Department and the Dept. of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement, have Inspector General Offices.
Those offices have hotlines where you can report something you think is illegal/wasteful or flat out a fraud. I am told by people in government that those OIGs are decent watchdogs and shouldn’t be feared.
But, we need something more!
Someone (maybe the new Trump Administration) could create a hotline that would address many other concerns, for reporting things like the following:
~For reports of waste, fraud or abuse of taxpayer dollars relating to the RAP witnessed in local communities when it is not clear if it is federal or state/local funds being potentially misused.
~For whistleblowers who work, or have worked, for a resettlement agency (public or private) and have witnessed something that they feel must be reported, but fear for their jobs.
~For unhappy refugees who might want to go home.
Just a thought!
In the meantime, if you have unearthed something potentially fraudulent as you investigate your local refugee program, try the following Inspector General Office hotlines:
US Dept. of State is here (the DOS does the initial work of hiring the contractors and distributing the refugees).
And, HHS fraud hotline, is here (the Office of Refugee Resettlement distributes millions in grants to non-profits which pay for much of their office/staff etc.).
Endnote: I had to make a new tag, I had all sorts of frauds (food stamps, immigration etc), but needed a general ‘fraud’ tag.
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