HOW TO REPORT FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
TO THE
AUDITOR GENERAL'S OFFICE

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS


a) Establishment of fraud hotline


Public Act 97-261, effective August 5, 2011, directs the Auditor General to operate a toll-free hotline for the public to report allegations of fraud in the executive branch of State government.

 

You may report your fraud allegations by any of the following methods:

 

1.) Click here to complete the Fraud Reporting Form online.

 

2.) E-mail OAG.Hotline@illinois.gov with a description of the allegation. Please see the form above for help gathering your information.

Please update your records with our new hotline e-mail address: OAG.hotline@illinois.gov

 

3.) Call the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-217-1895. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Live operators are generally available Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

4.) Contact the Auditor General via telecommunications device for the disabled (TTY) at 1-888-261-2887.

 

5.) Send a written report via the U.S. Postal Service to the following address:


        • Fraud Hotline
          Auditor General's Office
          740 E. Ash St.
          Springfield, IL 62703

 

 

b) What allegations will be reviewed by the Auditor General's Office?


    The Hotline will accept allegations of fraud, waste and abuse involving the Executive branch of State government.

     

    We will accept allegations involving the following agencies, which are part of the Executive branch of State government:
     

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    The Attorney General, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and State Treasurer; and

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    State agencies under the control of the Governor.

     

    We will not accept allegations involving the following agencies, which are part of the Judicial or Legislative branches of State government:

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    Courts, justices and judges; and

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    General Assembly, State Senators and State Representatives.

     

    We will not accept allegations involving units of local government, including:

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    Counties and county boards;

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    Cities;

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    Villages;

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    Townships;

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    Road districts; and

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    School districts and school boards.

     

    We will not accept allegations involving a private (non-governmental) entity unless the private entity has a contract or grant with a State executive branch agency and the allegation involves matters related to that contract or grant. Examples of private entities over which we generally will not have hotline jurisdiction include:

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    Insurance companies;

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    Banks and credit unions;

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    Pay day and title loan companies;

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    Hospitals;

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    Nursing homes; and

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    Condominium associations.

     

    Even if the Auditor General's Office does not have jurisdiction over your allegation, there may be another State, federal or local agency that may be able to help you. Please see our "Find Help with Your Complaint" form.

     

    c) What is fraud?


    "Fraud" is generally defined as an intentional misrepresentation of a material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage. Fraud may also be made by an omission or purposeful failure to state material facts, when nondisclosure makes other statements misleading. A mere mistake or error generally will not constitute fraud unless made with negligent disregard for the truth. Further, the false statement or omission must be material, meaning that it was significant to the decision that was made. Falsifying an invoice or travel voucher to obtain reimbursement for expenses that were not incurred or that do not relate to State business is an example of fraud.

     

    d) Who may submit information?


    Anyone who is a part of, or interacts with, State government may have relevant information, including State employees, State contractors and Illinois citizens.

     

     

    e) Do I need to identify myself?


    No. We review all information submitted to our Office, even anonymously, to determine whether there may be an issue falling within our jurisdiction and appropriate for follow-up.

    However, if you choose to not identify yourself, our ability to follow up on your allegations may be limited.

     

    f) If I identify myself, will my identity be kept confidential by the Auditor General's Office?


    No. Your identity may be revealed to persons outside of the Auditor General's Office. The Public Act establishing the Auditor General's hotline specifically allows our Office to refer allegations of fraud to law enforcement authorities or other governmental entities with jurisdiction over the alleged fraud. The Auditor General's Office will review each allegation to determine whether it will be referred to our auditors and/or passed on to another appropriate entity. For example, your allegation may be provided to one or more of the following entities:

    • The agency involved in your allegation;

    • The Illinois Executive Office of Inspector General;

    • Any other State or federal Inspector General;

    • The Illinois Attorney General;

    • Local law enforcement, including State's Attorneys;

    • The Federal Bureau of Investigation; and

    • The U.S. Attorney.


    Whistleblower protections may be available to you if your identity is revealed and you suffer retaliation as a result of your allegation. However, you are strongly advised to withhold identifying information if you believe referral to another agency may jeopardize you in some way.

     

    g) What if I believe I have evidence of a crime?


    The Auditor General's Office is not an investigatory or law enforcement agency. If you believe you have evidence of a crime involving a State officer, employee or contractor, you should report your information to an appropriate investigatory agency. Depending upon the nature of your allegation, reporting might be directed to:  the Illinois Attorney General, a State Inspector General (for agencies under the Governor, this would be the Executive Office of Inspector General), the U.S. Attorney or Federal Bureau of Investigation (particularly if Federal funds are involved), or the local State's Attorney. You may also report your information to the Auditor General's Office for our possible use in the audit process.

     

    h) Will the Auditor General's Office keep me apprised of the status of my allegation?


    Generally, no. If you have given us your name and contact information, we will contact you if we need further information in order to follow up on your allegation. Pursuant to our rules, information acquired or developed as part of an ongoing audit or examination is treated as confidential until the conclusion of the audit or examination to which the information pertains. (74 Ill.Adm.Code 420.630.) Once completed and released, our audit and examination reports are public documents published on our website http://www.auditor.illinois.gov/Audit-Reports/description.asp. Any findings resulting from allegations received and worked by our Office would be included in those public reports.

     

    i) Will the Auditor General actively pursue all allegations that are within its jurisdiction?

    Not always. As auditors we must consider risk and materiality in scoping our audits and examinations. Allegations that, even if true, appear immaterial or insignificant from a monetary or operational standpoint, may be referred back to the State agency involved in the allegation for its consideration of future changes in policy or procedure. Even if the Auditor General's Office does not pursue a specific allegation, we reserve the right to forward the information contained in the allegation to our auditors for their consideration of the subject matter when scoping the next audit or examination of the agency involved in the allegation.



    j) Will the Auditor General's Office assist me in resolving a complaint if I am dissatisfied with a decision made by a State agency that involves me?


    No. Many State agencies have administrative processes that you may use to appeal decisions they make that affect you. If you pursue these processes and are still dissatisfied, you may wish to consider obtaining private legal counsel. The Auditor General's Office cannot give legal advice.