What Is the Value of One Extra Complaint?

According to CIGIE’s new Oversight.gov website, the 73 Federal IG offices receive a half million complaints a year.  Through the hard work of investigators and auditors, these tips lead to a more honest and efficient government.  They also have a tangible financial benefit.  Those 500,000 complaints lead to recommendations that would save $40 billion a year if fully implemented.  They also lead to $16 billion a year in investigative recoveries.

 

Obviously, each complaint doesn’t lead to a financial recovery.  Some of them improve the work environment, some deal with non-financial crimes, and others go nowhere at all.  But if a half a million complaints lead to $16 billion in recoveries, that means that a single complaint is on average, worth $32,000 of ill-gotten gains recovered.  That is in addition to the $50,000 of potential savings identified by each complaint.

We’ve discussed many ways to increase the number and quality of tips that investigators receive, including through easy to complete online forms, better exit interviews and even enhancing the perception of the IG office.  But the aggregated statistics from the Oversight.gov website provide a great new way to encourage people to provide your agency with tips: showing real results.

There’s always risk inherent in making a complaint.  Maybe someone will figure out who made the anonymous complaint.  Maybe it will lead to a time-consuming investigation distracting a complainant from their main job for months.  Maybe a negative finding will lead to a recommendation that will hurt the complainant’s team.  To take these risks, someone must believe that it’s worth the risk – that something positive will come of the investigation.

The Oversight.gov site provides tangible proof that all of those complaints turn into action, and that action improves government.  Reports are posted daily to the site, and financial metrics show real results from those reports.  With the benefit of seeing what a complaint can do, more people are likely to make them.  It’s a great source to highlight when talking to agency employees about the value they can bring to the agency if they just speak up.

To learn about how CMTS’s Online Intake Service can help your agency get more tips and act on them more easily, call us at 919-600-5102 or email us at Team_CMTS@WingSwept.com.

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