1. Home
  2. >
  3. News and Announcements
  4. >
  5. County Management Expands Anti-Fraud...

County Management Expands Anti-Fraud Policy to Include Reporting to Clerk’s Inspector General

In December 2023, the County Manager updated their Administrative Practices and Procedures manual, CMA # 5311, Code of Ethics and Anti-Fraud, to add the option for County employees to report any suspected “fraud, waste, abuse or gross mismanagement” to the Clerk’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). The previous version of the policy, dated March 27, 2019, directed County employees to “promptly notify the County Manager’s Office.”  The alternative for employees to report concerns via one of the many different methods offered by the Clerk’s OIG, provides employees flexibility and confidentiality in reporting, and independence in the handling of the case.

As detailed in our August 2023 newsletter, the OIG hosts a best-in-class hotline program, defined by:

  • Presence of a fraud department
  • Independent administration of the hotline program
  • Ability to receive anonymous reports
  • Ability to receive reports 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (English/Spanish)
  • Generous number of reporting options
  • Protection against retaliation

Since establishing the Clerk’s Office of Inspector General on January 1, 2020, the OIG has assisted the County in researching, reporting on, and referring cases to law enforcement. In 2023 alone, the OIG opened 110 investigative activities, and referred three cases to law enforcement. This brought the total law enforcement referrals by the OIG to eight, resulting in six felony arrests to date. In support of these cases, OIG staff have given depositions and court testimony in support of prosecutions, performed field visits and interviews of witnesses, and assisted in drafting subpoenas and other such case documentation. 

Our office joined ten other Florida counties in 2020, by establishing an Office of Inspector General that followed the standards of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG).  We had previously employed an Internal Audit department for over twenty years, and this transition to an IG office added the additional functions of Investigations. The AIG sponsors accreditation programs for Audit (CIGA), Investigations (CIGI), and Contract Oversight/Evaluations (CIGE). Our OIG employs one or more individuals certified in each function, in addition to their other professional certifications in audit, fraud, and investigations.

Our OIG has played a huge part in helping victims amidst the recent rise in fraud cases across the county. With this new order from the County Manager, we are furthering a partnership, to ensure the integrity of our offices that serve the public.

Should you suspect fraud, waste or abuse regarding County funds, or regarding guardianship funds under the supervision of Collier courts, contact the Clerk’s Office of Inspector General. 

Read the full February 2024 Newsletter here.