LB City Auditor Laura Doud supports Whistleblower Legislation

Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud testified on April 23 before the California State Assembly Local Government Committee in support of AB 2001 (Swanson), commonly referred to as the “Whistleblower” legislation. This legislation would ensure anonymity for anyone reporting fraud or theft against municipalities.
“As a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, I know that fraud is a very serious problem that all local governments contend with and the City of Long Beach is no exception,”_ Doud told the committee.
The Long Beach City Auditor’s Office recently implemented a fraud hotline that allows anyone to report fraud or theft against the city.
Research shows that nearly 50 percent of fraud that is detected is due to a tip.”We encourage all city employees, citizens, contractors and other interested parties to be alert and report any suspected fraud against the city,” said Doud.
In Long Beach, the city attorney believes that several sections of the Public Records Act currently protect the identities of whistleblowers who call the fraud hotline, such as provisions protecting personnel records
and disclosures that are against the public interest. This legislation would make whistleblower protections explicit so that residents of all cities could rest assured that their identities would be confidential when calling their local fraud hotlines.
Doud was invited to testify before the committee by Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby, who has led the charge for this whistleblower legislation in Sacramento. The legislation has gained significant support from others, including city controllers/auditors
Laura Chick of Los Angeles and Ann-Marie Hogan of Berkeley, as well as the Association of Local Government Auditors.

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