March 24, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

City Council Receives Fraud Policy Draft

The City of Springfield is implementing an internal process under which employees will be formally encouraged to report potential or actual instances of fraud, misconduct or violation of City policies and procedures to the Internal Auditor’s office.

City Manager Greg Burris forwarded to City Council today a draft copy of the Fraud and Misconduct Policy developed by Internal Auditor April Lathrom. Burris asked the Council for review and comment by April 7, 2009 before the policy is made final.

The policy allows employees to make anonymous and/or confidential reports to the Auditor for follow up. If the Auditor establishes that the report has merit in alleging unethical or illegal activities, she will recommend an investigation.

The areas covered by this policy will include illegal activities such as theft, misuse or unauthorized use of city assets; irregularities, forgery or improper reporting involving financial transactions and expense reimbursement; falsification of time or payroll records; any computer-related activity involving alteration, destruction or misappropriation of city-owned software or hardware; and shortcomings in regulatory compliance.

The policy will not cover workplace issues such as job performance or supervisory treatment. Those issues will continue to be addressed under current applicable city policies.

The draft policy establishes that employees who come forward in good faith will not be subject to reprisal or retaliation; it also establishes that any employees making reports on a false or reckless basis will be subject to disciplinary or legal action.

After any City Council suggestions are incorporated into the policy, Lathrom will demonstrate the online reporting mechanism that will be available to employees on the City’s Intranet site. City Council will be asked to approve the final policy. Lathrom pointed out that city employees always are encouraged to report any concerns about internal fraud or misconduct, but this new policy provides a more formal structure for doing so.

A copy of the draft policy is available on the City Web site at: www.springfieldmo.gov/cityconnect.

For more information, contact: Internal Auditor April Lathrom, 864-1185.

city of springfield

Department of Public Information

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1010 • Fax: 417-864-1114 • springfieldmo.gov