Five city employees lost their jobs last year as a result of the Fraud and Waste Hotline

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In all, the hotline recorded 210 unique reports in 2022, a decrease of 30 per cent from the previous year.

Five City of Ottawa employees lost their jobs last year, thanks to the Fraud and Waste Hotline. 

In the annual review of hotline activity conducted by city auditor general Nathalie Gougeon, she reports that two employees were terminated and another three resigned as a result of tips made to the hotline in 2022. 

The pair who were terminated lost their jobs because their supervisors discovered they had provided false proof-of-vaccination documents. 

Of the three who resigned, one had downloaded hundreds of files to an external device without authorization. Although management recovered all city-owned assets and barred the employee from its properties, it was unable to recover the personal external device containing the city’s information. 

Another employee who resigned had used a city vehicle without authorization to participate in the convoy protest during working hours. The third to resign was caught working full time for both the city and one of its suppliers. 

In all, the hotline recorded 210 unique reports in 2022, a decrease of 30 per cent from the previous year. Seventy-seven of last year’s reports were submitted by members of the public, while 133 came from City of Ottawa employees. 

Less-severe disciplinary actions included discussions, suspensions with (or without) pay, recovered wages, paid administrative leave and Letters of Expectations, as well as written and verbal warnings and letters of discipline. The complete report is at .

Launched in 2005, the hotline is a confidential and anonymous service that allows any employee or member of the public to report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Other 2022 transgressions to come to light through the hotline, and the subsequent disciplinary action, included:  

  • Two employees made a collective decision to provide preferential treatment to a resident requiring emergency care, due to their political position. Both employees received verbal feedback, which included a review of the city’s Employee Code of Conduct.
  • An employee was posting messages that contravened the city’s Personal Use of Social Media Guidelines. The employee was asked to remove the message and was issued a written warning.
  • An employee was using their city-issued cellphone to operate a personal business, listing the city cellphone number on a social-media advertisement. Management did not believe that disciplinary action was warranted, as it was deemed a lapse in judgment. The employee swiftly corrected the action by removing the city cellphone number from the advertisement.
  • A private company was using the City of Ottawa logo. The city issued a cease-and-desist letter, prompting the company to quickly comply. The city trademark was removed and management chose not to pursue further action.
  • An employee who had drugs at the workplace had several other infractions, too, including leaving work to go shopping without recording the absence and bringing home supplies from the workplace for personal use without authorization. As part of the progressive discipline process, and following other unrelated performance concerns and previous suspensions, the employee received a five-day suspension without pay.

This article was originally sourced from www.Canada.Com