2012-03-02 / Community

NYC Comptroller Opens New Hotline

City Comptroller John C. Liu launched 212-NO-WASTE, a hotline for City employees, contractors, and members of the public to report wasteful spending by City agencies. The hotline, unveiled as part of Liu’s Campaign to Cut Waste during his State of the City Address last week, is staffed by trained professionals in the Comptroller’s Community Action Center and will help build on the nearly $1 billion in waste identified by Liu’s office over the past two years.

“The work we’ve done to cut waste convinced us that we need to build on our success and do even more. This hotline provides taxpayers another way to get involved by giving us their ideas about where to look for waste in City spending,” Liu said.

The public often makes suggestions to Liu and his staff at various meetings and events throughout the City with regard to wasteful spending. With the launch of this hotline, the public now has one more way to report waste.

The “NO WASTE” hotline is part of a four point plan unveiled by the comptroller during his State of the City Address last week.

In the coming months, Liu will also implement:

· Checkbook 2.0 - the newest version of the best-in-class website that gives the public the ability not only to see every single dollar the City spends but also each agency’s budget, revenue, and contracts;

· New York City IT Dashboard – which would require City agencies to track their IT projects according to budget, schedule, and performance. This would act as an early warning system which could prevent a boondoggle like City Time from happening again;

· Subcontractor Tracking System - based on a federal model, this will force prime City contractors to be responsible and accountable for the performance of the subcontractors they use and will help the City enforce prompt payment policies and more accurately track actual spending with minority and women-owned businesses.

Liu launched the hotline to provide an outlet for New Yorkers to anonymously report on wasteful spending by City agencies. Call takers will gather information from the public and share that information with the staff at the Comptroller’s various bureaus for review. If the tips are warranted, further investigation may take place.

In addition to providing the public with an avenue to report on City expenses, the Comptroller’s office will scrutinize the call data to identify and analyze trends. This information will also be used to formulate future audit plans and contract reviews.

Last year Comptroller Liu held a series of Audit Town Hall Meetings in all five boroughs to engage the public on where they would like to see audits.

The 212-NO-WASTE hotline builds upon the audit town hall idea and will utilize public input to make government more efficient and accountable.

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