The state has launched a website, FightFraud.ct.gov, to bolster its efforts to tackle fraud, waste, and abuse that cost the state money.
The site was spurred by the state’s Interagency Fraud Task Force, according to state Attorney General George Jepsen. That task force was formed in 2013 by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to coordinate efforts by 13 state agencies and is charged with helping the state identify, investigate, and prosecute suspicious activity and recover funds.
Fraud, waste and abuse cost state programs tens of millions of dollars each year, according to Jepsen.
The new website is intended to educate the public about what constitutes waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs, as well as make it easier for members of the public to report suspicious conduct when they notice it.
The site allows consumers to report suspected wrongdoing in tax filings, health care, antitrust violations, unfair competition, workers’ compensation, and other areas.
“The state has been making a major effort to crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse,” Ben Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, said in a statement. “This website asks the people of Connecticut to join our fight. The public is our first and best defense against theft of state resources. Together, we can make sure our programs have the integrity they demand, while dedicating resources to people who really need them. This is a zero tolerance state when it comes to fraud.”
The state has recovered tens of millions of dollars from fraud in the Medicaid program alone, largely by improving the state’s False Claims Act and hiring a firm to help detect Medicaid fraud patterns, according to Jepsen.
“My office works very closely with our agency and law enforcement partners to protect state programs, and the taxpayers who fund them, from fraud,” Jepsen said in a statement. “The public plays an important role in our work, and the state’s new Fight Fraud website offers helpful resources for individuals who believe they have information about fraudulent activity and want to join in the task force’s efforts to stop it.”
Resources to fight fraud have recently been scaled back.
The state plans to spend about $1.3 million in each of the next two fiscal years on reducing Medicaid fraud. There are 16 positions in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. The budget reduced about $700,000 in the Department of Revenue Services budget earmarked to reduce tax fraud.
The state’s three-year, $24 million contract with 21CT, a Texas-based tech security company, is expected to expire in November 2016. The company was hired in 2013 to detect waste and abuse within medical assistance programs administered by the Department of Social Services.
Repeated requests to ascertain how much money 21CT has saved the state with its fraud detection technology have gone unanswered.