On January 18, 2013, the OIG transmitted its fourth quarter report for 2012 to the City Council and City officials. Available on the OIG website, the report provides a summary of OIG activity from October 1 through December 31, 2012. This Quarterly makes several minor formatting changes to better account for the nature of OIG operations and its role in City government.
Investigative highlights from the report include:
- An OIG investigation led to a $29,975.34 recovery for the City as part of a contractor’s settlement with the City for “common-law” employee violations. The OIG uncovered several improprieties related to a contract for services utilized by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Specifically, the investigation found that an MBE-certified City contractor knowingly hired and sought reimbursement for the salaries of employees over whom it exercised no real supervision and who were effectively “common-law” employees in violation of the hiring regulations developed pursuant to the Shakman decree. In addition, the contractor sought and received reimbursement for services which were not provided under the contract and sought MWBE credit for work performed outside of its certification.
- A Department of Water Management (DMW) repaid the City $832.48 for restitution of wages and partial costs of an OIG investigation. GPS records secured during the investigation showed that, on 86 separate occasions totaling 21.5 hours, the mechanic used a City vehicle for personal purposes during the work day. The OIG recommended that DWM suspend the employee for at least 5 days and seek cost recovery for the 21.5 hours spent on personal business while on the clock and the OIG’s investigatory costs. DWM agreed with the OIG’s findings and suspended the Electrical Mechanic for 10 days.
- In a Management Advisory sent to the City, the OIG recommended that the Department of Human Resources (DHR) consider the measures that may both assist and supplement the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s fraud detection efforts respecting City employees and better assure that City taxpayers are paying no more than that to which City employees are entitled. The Advisory stemmed from an allegation of unwarranted unemployment benefits paid to a part-time City of Chicago employee. The OIG conducted an inquiry into (1) the potential scope of unemployment benefit fraud involving City employees at the City’s expense; and (2) the existence and effectiveness of fraud detection mechanisms.
- In another Management Advisory sent to the City, the OIG recommended that all City departments that installed surveillance or security cameras perform an inventory audit to determine which are operational, and which require repair or replacement. The OIG also recommended that the City direct all relevant departments to develop and adhere to a periodic testing and maintenance schedule to ensure the camera equipment is operational.