On Thursday, April 14, the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) submitted its first quarter 2011 report to City officials and residents.
“This is the fifth narrative quarterly report I’ve sent to the City, and I believe it should encourage all Chicagoans to know we continue to root out waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency in City government,” said Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. “As we seek to bring a stronger culture of transparency to City government, it is only appropriate that we be as open as we can concerning our work. This report aims to do just that.”
The report includes specific policy recommendations the OIG has proposed to the City, as well as the City’s response to those recommendations. For example:
- An OIG investigation found that the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has for years operated a practice called “courtesy parking” by which CDA employees, their friends and family, and others received free parking at O’Hare Airport unrelated to any official City business. The OIG recommended that the CDA end the practice.
- An OIG investigation found that the CDA also had a custom of assigning on-duty Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) to work funeral details for current ASOs and their families, while driving City vehicles but lacked any formalized written policy governing such assignments. The OIG recommended that the CDA end the practice.
- The OIG has summarized the Board of Ethics response to the OIG’s recommendation that the City institute a gift ban for its employees.
- The report includes a synopsis of the new Open Chicago initiative, which prompted the City to publish its Collective Bargaining Agreements and Single Audit Reports on Federal Grants, and a list of the property the City leases.
In addition to case summaries and statistics, the report notes a case involving Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC) employees who were discovered stealing from the City. The outcome raised concerns with the OIG, prompting the Inspector General to write a letter to the Mayor.