Dropping a Dime on ‘Public Servants’


States and cities, the Pew Research Center found, are launching apps that empower citizens and public employees to report waste, fraud, and abuse. While there have long been “hotlines for reporting misuse of government resources,” the new tech is adding “a new level of sophistication.” The smartphone-enabled systems “allow people to submit photos and videos in support of their claims; and in some cases auditors can use the app to respond and ask for follow-up information, all while maintaining a tipster’s anonymity.”

A quick search found that the Land of Enchantment doesn’t have any W/F/A apps in place. But the Office of the State Auditor’s division of Special Audits & Investigations takes tips via phone and a website. The New Mexico Human Services Department does the same, for “public assistance fraud” and “Medicaid provider fraud.” The Program and Network Integrity Department of OptumHealth, which “manages behavioral health services for New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Collaborative,” can be reached here. The City of Albuquerque’s Inspector General is online as well.

With governments at the city, county, and state levels facing mounting fiscal woes, New Mexicans can do their fellow taxpayers a solid by reporting the misuse of public resources. Waging war on W/F/A cannot be the sole answer to solvency issues — solutions include welfare reform, privatization, school choice, smart infrastructure spending, and public-sector compensation packages that are based on market realities — but it’s a start.