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News | May 18, 2017

New DCMA Hotline calls for accountability

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

The clarity of Defense Contract Management Agency oversight has moved one step closer to twenty-twenty.

The agency has launched the DCMA Hotline to enhance accountability practices and improve incident response times. The initiative aligns with calls to improve government transparency. Agency team members can submit reports online or call 844-551-2067.

“Throughout our climate and government surveys and new channels of communication, there is a lot of talk about holding the government employees and contractors accountable for their actions,” said Bob Conforto, DCMA’s Office of Independent Assessment executive director. “With the implementation of our DCMA Hotline, we are providing an independent means for individuals to report allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse, or general administration issues and concerns, as well as other wrongdoings pertaining to programs, personnel and operations.”

According to Conforto, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners conducted government studies and found tips were the most common detection method by a wide margin, accounting for 39.1 percent of cases. Internal audits were the second-most common at 16.5 percent. Perhaps the most relevant statistic involved access to reporting tools. Schemes were detected through a tip in 47.3 percent of cases at organizations that maintained internal hotlines. That number fell to 28.2 percent at organizations without an agency-specific hotline.

As DCMA OIA’s lead investigator, Amy Zorgdrager will initially review complaints.

“I will review the complaint to determine if there is a DCMA nexus and it will either be referred to the commander for action/inquiry, or we will initiate a case and it will be assigned to an investigator,” Zorgdrager explained.

While procurement and contract fraud must still be reported through the Contract Integrity Center or FraudNET, DCMA’s hotline will focus on improving organizational climate and response timeliness.

“The hotline is designed to improve transparency and develop a culture of caring,” said Zorgdrager. “You may ask, ‘Why can’t I just use the DoD IG Hotline?’ Well, you still can, but DCMA’s hotline will improve report response time. The program’s goal is that each case will be reviewed within 24 hours during the workweek and 72 hours over the weekend.”

Acknowledging there may be imperfections in the reporting system at launch, the lead investigator believes that as employee trust in the process grows and OIA’s continued improvement goals sharpen, the DCMA Hotline will prove successful.

“As individuals become comfortable with the process and begin to see that results and changes can be achieved, they will hopefully start to trust that someone, including the agency leadership, is listening and is here to help,” said Zorgdrager.

DCMA team members can identify themselves or remain anonymous when reporting allegations. OIA does encourage anonymous users to report online and provide great detail as follow-up questions will be impossible. Either way employees choose to report, OIA hopes the DCMA Hotline will positively impact transparency and accountability throughout the agency.

“We serve the American taxpayer, and we support the American warfighter,” said Zorgdrager. “We owe it to both groups to hold ourselves, our peers and defense contractors accountable for their actions. We talk a lot about the importance of one team, one voice. Now, every voice can make a difference — especially yours.”

What should be reported?:
—Prohibited Personnel Practices
—Ethical Violations
—Personal Misconduct
—Security Violations
—Safety Matters
—Pay and Benefits Abuse
—Gross Mismanagement
—Conflicts of Interest
—Travel Fraud
—Abuse of Authority
—Theft and Abuse of Government Property
—Gross Waste of Funds

For more information or to submit a complaint, visit the agency’s DCMA Hotline site.