City inspector general to offer cash rewards for tips

Program urges residents, workers to report government misdeeds and waste

February 09, 2011|By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun

City employees or residents who tip off the inspector general's office to misdeeds will be eligible for cash rewards under a program approved by the city's spending board today.

Under the policy, tipsters could receive 10 percent of the money saved by the city in exchange for providing "substantial information not previously known" by the inspector general's office, comptroller or law department.

Inspector General David McClintock said the policy is modeled after a federal program and is intended to encourage residents and employees to speak out about government waste.

The five-member Board of Estimates approved $50,000 for the program Wednesday. McClintock said that 10 percent of funds recovered through the program in the future would be deposited in the account.

The spending panel also approved a second measure that would allow contractors to report fraud without fear of prosecution or being barred from future contracts. Contractors who report their own misdeeds, promptly correct them and discipline the employees involved would be eligible for the program.

"We're trying to change the landscape of how the city deals with contractors," McClintock said. "As far as I know, this is the first policy of its type in a major U.S. city."

In her State of the City speech Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she was increasing the inspector general's budget so an additional investigator could be hired.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

twitter.com/juliemore

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