Report Fraud Waste & Abuse

STOP WASTE IN ITS TRACKS!
REPORT FRAUD WASTE & ABUSE OF OKALOOSA COUNTY RESOURCES

Phone: (850) 683-TIPS (8477)
Fax: (850) 689-5589
eMail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or
Mail:
Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
Inspector General
602 B North Pearl St​.
Crestview, FL 32536

 

 

The Okaloosa County Clerk is committed to preventing or detecting misuse of county resources and ensuring an effective system of internal controls. A crucial element of internal control is a mechanism for preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse of County resources.

To assist in these efforts, the Clerk has established several methods for individuals to report potential fraud, waste or abuse by employees, contractors, vendors, citizens, or other entities that have a business relationship with Okaloosa County. All complaints received will be reviewed by the Clerk’s Inspector General’s Office to determine if sufficient information has been obtained in order to conduct a meaningful investigation.  The Inspector General’s office is staffed with highly qualified auditors and investigators trained to respond to such tips and because they report directly to the Clerk of Courts they are independent of any office or department within County government.

We encourage reporting via the fraud hotline.  The hotline routes your call to a recording where you can leave a detailed message.  A preliminary review of allegations is made to determine the probability that the alleged acts could have occurred. You do not have to give us your name and we do not trace the call. 

Whistle-Blowers Act:

By virtue of the Whistle-Blower's Act, employees who report suspected wrongdoing or fraudulent activities are protected from retaliation by management or other employees. Persons reporting wrongdoing or fraudulent activities should provide sufficient details to facilitate an investigation.

What to Report: 

  • Violations of federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations 
  • Theft, waste or misuse of County assets or resources 
  • Violations or circumvention of County ordinances, policies or State or Federal regulations

What Not to Report:

  • Personnel complaints, suggestions, or general work related issues.  These are program-related or administrative matters and do not result in a case being opened. In these situations, we refer the complaint when appropriate, to the appropriate department or agency. 
  • Information pertaining to the abuse of non-County resources (however, if you call, we may be able to refer you to the proper agency) 
  • Issues of extreme urgency, such as threat of violence or harassment, should be reported to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 651-7400.

Who We Investigate:

We will investigate any suspected wrong doing by employees, contractors, vendors, citizens, or other entities that have a business relationship with the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners and Clerk of Courts.  We DO NOT investigate alleged wrong doing connected to the Okaloosa County Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, Sheriff, Property Appraiser or School District; however, any information obtained which does not fall in to the scope of the Inspector General’s authority  will be forwarded to the proper investigative agency.

Our Process:

A preliminary review of allegations is made to determine probability that the alleged acts could have occurred. Referrals are made to the State Attorney when there evidence suggests that a criminal activity is or may have occurred.

What We Need From You:

There are several things to keep in mind when reporting fraud, waste and abuse. Immediate reporting is necessary, while facts are still fresh in your mind.  In addition, all reports must answer the questions who, what, when, where, why and how. 

  • Who was involved? (Names, addresses, phone numbers, if available) 
  • What happened? (Summary of events, additional sources of evidence) • When did it happen? (Date, time, frequency) 
  • Where did it happen? (Location, city, state) 
  • Why was it done? (Any known motive for committing such act) 
  • How did it happen? (What scheme was used)

The most successful cases are those that include supporting documentation. Reports that are too vague or cannot be corroborated can result in a case being closed without any action taken.

Four Ways to Report:

    1. Call the fraud hotline: (850) 683-TIPS (8477). Be prepared to provide specific information, such as names of perpetrators, dates, contracts, locations, and other pertinent information.  Follow the instructions on the recorded message and leave a detailed message.  Leave a call back number if you would like to be contacted regarding your complaint.  Remember we do not trace the tip line.
    2. Mail specific information to:
Brad Embry, Investigator, CFE,CIGI
Inspector General
Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
602 B North Pearl St.
Crestview, FL 32536
  1. Fax us the information at (850) 689-5589.  This call cannot be traced.
  2. Report the information using the below link.  Reporting is anonymous and is collected by an outside, third party.

Anonymous Report Form