Thursday, August 15, 2013

Government officials Balk at Simplistic “Waste Hotline” Measures, that pays people to turn in "relatives, neighbors and friends."

Eliminating government waste, fraud and mismanagement is a worthwhile goal from both sides of the aisle. But what constitutes waste, fraud and mismanagement: Do we count some disgruntled know-it-all employee with an ax to grind? How many rabbit holes do we need to go down chasing possible wrong doing? And why dole out a 5% monetary reward for making government more accountable? It should be a part of the job description, right?

If you dig a little deeper, think beyond the simple talking point…heck, forget that, Republican State Sen. Richard Gudex is shocked that’s it’s getting so complicated:
Unqualified for job? Sure.
jsonline: "I guess I didn't expect the response I am hearing from these agencies," the bill's co-author, Sen. Richard Gudex (R-Fond du Lac), said. "I find this very troubling that we are throwing obstacles onto this (and not) grabbing onto it and seeing this as a help."
Big vague problems beyond simple stereotypes:
Various state agency representatives latched onto the many unknowns contained in the bill and raised questions about the definition of terms, how the amount of savings would be estimated … Sara Buschman, assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Children and Families. "They may have a different opinion of what mismanagement is than my department."

Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said the issue was not black and white and that she appreciated the "constructive criticism" from the agency officials and others. "We can work to improve what started out as a good idea but has some warts on it."
Imagine the perplexed look on Gudex’s face after this input:
"There are a lot of revenge calls," said Michael Wagner, a legislative adviser for the Department of Revenue, in reference to people who turn in former partners for tax fraud. He said the department reviews the calls but said adding extra financial incentives might dramatically increase the number of bogus tips. "We don't see that we would get a lot of benefit from this program."
Gudex’s “what’ll you give me for that information” mentality.
Gudex told colleagues that the bill provides an incentive for people to report governmental waste and save taxpayer money. "Why would I want to pick up the phone and report my relative or neighbor or a friend who is abusing the system" without a financial incentive?" Gudex said.
Gudex sounds like he would be a really nice relative, neighbor or friend to have, you think?  

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