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Feb 07, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

City of Toronto releases annual Fraud and Waste Hotline report

York Guardian

City workers should keep their smut surfing activities at home said Mayor Rob Ford, following a report from the auditor general that a city employee was fired for looking at pornography online while working.

“We can’t have employees getting paid to sit there and watch porn,” Ford told reporters Thursday. “Do that in private time, but not during working hours. I wouldn’t have any time or willingness to tolerate that nonsense.”

Ford was responding to the findings in Toronto’s annual Fraud and Waste Hotline report from the city’s auditor general’s office.

As it does every year, the report offers a litany of skullduggery and wastefulness among city employees ranging from the porn-surfing city worker to other workers who used private information to enrich their business and a lawyer who falsified land transfer tax rebates.

The report detailed 774 complaints that had been received, and the auditor referred 333 of those to city divisions. Fifty were substantiated in 2012.

The most frequently substantiated complaints involved conflicts of interest, eligibility of employees on long term disability and conflict of interest.

Auditor General Jeffrey Griffiths estimated the city has lost $500,000 due to the cumulative effect of fraud and waste in 2012. In total, the city lost about $2.1 million for all complaints received in the last five years.

Here is a run-down of some of the complaints.

The auditor found seven members of the public were receiving subsidies as a result of fraudulent claims, resulting in $80,000 in losses to the city. Another city employee was fired for submitting phony employee health benefit claims to the tune of $25,000.

An employee of a vendor working with the city was caught for making and pocketing fraudulent claims against the city, to the tune of $225,000. The city has been reimbursed by the vendor, and police have been informed.

The auditor general caught an employee taking a city vehicle home for personal use, removing city decals in so doing. The employee resigned from the city.

Another employee was fired for using confidential and proprietary city information to further the employee’s own business.

An employee was fired for defrauding a city-sponsored charitable organization and various vendors of nearly $50,000.

The employee has left the city, and the city is attempting to recover the full amount of money through litigation.

A lawyer, meanwhile, was caught making fraudulent provincial and municipal Land Transfer Tax rebate claims through various real estate transactions.

As a result of the investigation, the lawyer has been charged under the Land Transfer Tax Act, and the city is attempting to recover more than $137.000.

And an employee was fired for using a city computer to view pornographic material. While the report doesn’t specify the kind of pornography being looked at, it stated “given the nature of the pornographic material, the Toronto Police Services was also consulted on this matter.”

The matter will be going to the Feb. 15 meeting of Toronto’s Audit Committee.

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(1) Comment

By Walter | FEBRUARY 08, 2013 04:10 PM
I consider leaving work to coach a football team a waste. What's that hotline phone number?
Mark as Offensive
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