Hotline in place to report government waste

St. Louis County Auditor Mark A. Burchyett has established a confidential hotline for citizens and government employees to report suspected financial improprieties of waste of public funds or resources, and to make constructive suggestions for improving county government.

The new hotline is 615-7000. All calls to the hotline are confidential and Caller-ID is not used, according to a news release from Burchyett’s office.

“This hotline will serve as another tool for the auditor’s office to make county government more efficient with the taxpayer’s dollars,” Burchyett stated in the release. “I am excited to be able to offer this simple but important service to the citizens of St. Louis County.”

Hotline callers should have the following information available when they call:

• Circumstances of the incident.

• The county department and subjects involved.

• Any evidence that is available, and any credible witnesses.

• Any dates, times, names and places available.

County Council Chairman Greg Quinn is optimistic about the new hotline.

“Spending taxpayers’ money wisely is the highest priority of the County Council,” Quinn said in the release. “I think this hotline will assist us all as we strive to make better use of the tax-dollars entrusted to us by the public.”

Burchyett added that the hotline is for reporting issues involving county government operations and does not investigate matters related to other political entities or businesses. It should not be used for general complaints or personal issues.

The Auditor’s Office is in the process of developing an Internet and e-mail alternative for reporting suspected waste or improprieties. That system will be a part of a larger auditor’s web site that will provide a list of completed audit reports and information about the Auditor’s Office.