The State Auditor’s Office (SAO) recently implemented a new fraud hotline webpage (https://sao.fraud.texas.gov/ReportFraud/) to report the potential misuse or misappropriation of state resources. Texas Government Code, Section 321.022, directs state entities to report to the SAO instances involving:
- Lost, misappropriated, or misused funds received from the State; or,
- Other fraudulent or unlawful conduct involving the entity’s operations.
A state entity’s administrative head should report having a reasonable basis to believe that any of the above has occurred using the new fraud hotline webpage. That report should include the reason and basis for the belief. This reporting threshold is generally met prior to the state entity undertaking an investigation. State entities should immediately begin using the new fraud hotline webpage, as the SAO will decommission the email@example.com email address.
The website https://sao.fraud.texas.gov/ provides information about the SAO’s anti-fraud efforts and the various methods available for the public to report suspected fraud. This information may assist a state entity in complying with the Texas Government Code’s reporting requirement. Please note that the General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Section 7.09, requires state entities to include this information and a link to the SAO’s fraud reporting webpage on their website’s home page and in their policies.
The SAO may investigate submitted reports or monitor any investigation conducted by a state entity as part of its mission to improve government accountability. As stewards of taxpayer money, we strive to uphold the public’s trust by maintaining awareness of the potential misuse or misappropriation of state resources.
Please contact Robert Smith, Investigations and Audit Support Manager, or your designated contact manager at (512) 936-9500 if you have any questions.
Lisa R. Collier, CPA, CFE, CIDA