OAC Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What should I do if I suspect someone is involved in
- If you have grounds to suspect anyone is involved in any
corrupt, criminal or otherwise inappropriate behavior, you must do
the following: a) Immediately notify OAC by calling the fraud
hotline (215.684.8300); and b) Keep the incident confidential - do
not discuss it with anyone other than OAC's representatives
- 2. What if I have a complaint about the PHA Police
- OAC has oversight of the PHA Police Department, and as such,
all civilian complaints made with regards to the PHA Police
Department should be reported to OAC.
- 3. What happens to my complaint after it is made to OAC?
- You will receive a letter from the OAC acknowledging receipt of
your complaint (pending you leave a forwarding address). OAC will
conduct an independent investigation based on your report and will
ensure that criminal and/or administrative action is taken against
the offenders, where appropriate.
- 4. What risks do I face if I engage or participate in fraud or
- The risks include but are not limited to: loss of housing
benefits; arrest and criminal prosecution; time in jail;
substantial fines; loss of your job; loss of your pension; loss of
status in your profession and community; personal anguish to you,
your family and friends.
- 5. How do I report corruption to the OAC?
- During office hours someone is always available to handle
complaints and allegations. Reports of corruption can be made in
the following ways: Telephone - 215.684.8300,
Fax - 215.684.1212, Email - firstname.lastname@example.org,
Mail - Office of Audit and Compliance, Intake
Unit, 12. S. 23rd St., 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
In person - 12 S. 23rd St., 5th Floor,
Philadelphia, PA 19103.
- 6. Can I make an anonymous complaint and will my identity be
- Yes, although anonymous complaints are accepted, it is helpful
if a person provides name and contact information in case follow-up
questions are necessary. OAC does everything possible to protect
the complainant's request for confidentiality.
- 7. Who should report complaints to OAC?
- As a PHA employee, you are obligated to report fraud, waste,
abuse, and corruption - failure to do so hurts everyone. As a PHA
tenant or voucher holder, you have a vested interest in ensuring
that the valuable services that PHA offers are provided to those
that need the services the most and are not wasted on those
committing fraud. As a tax payer, you also have a vested interest
to ensure that your federal tax dollars are being spent on those
most vulnerable in need of PHA's valuable services. The OAC, PHA
and PHA's Board of Commissioners encourages everyone -employees,
tenants/voucher holders, and the public - to report their
suspicions of wrongdoing. We are all a part of combating waste,
fraud and abuse. It is OAC's job to evaluate the information - you
need not become an investigator. The sooner OAC is told of an
allegation, the better. Delays in reporting can hinder an
investigation. You should not discuss OAC matters with anyone -
especially if you have requested confidential status from us.
- 8. What happens if an OAC investigation substantiates an
allegation of fraud or corruption?
- OAC investigators are fact finders - any facts uncovered during
the course of an investigation will be forwarded to the appropriate
persons, departments and entities for consideration and required
action. When appropriate, OAC refers substantiated cases to various
area prosecutors for criminal prosecutors. It is up to the
prosecutor to determine whether or not criminal charges will be
- 9. Is OAC out to get me?
- No. OAC's investigations stem from complaints OAC receives. OAC
does not target individuals and does not engage in "gotcha games".
OAC's directives, policies and procedures require that OAC have a
reasonable basis for opening an investigation. Generally, that
basis is established when OAC receives a complaint.
- 10. Does OAC have any evidence of fraud, corruption, wrong
doing, conflicts of interest etc. at PHA?
- Yes. Since its creation, OAC has identified and referred
several matters for criminal prosecution. Please review OAC's
annual reports for more information.
- 11. Will OAC inform me if I am under investigation?
- It depends. If OAC determines that it would be necessary to
contact you, while in the midst of an investigation, OAC will. That
notification however may be a request for an interview.
- 12. If I'm an employee, will I be fired or disciplined for
making a complaint to the OAC?
- PHA must comply with the Whistleblower Law as defined in PHA's
Human Resources Handbook, which protects employees who "blow the
whistle" by making a complaint. Furthermore, PHA's managers and
supervisors are not permitted to retaliate or take adverse
personnel action against any employee because the employee has
filed a complaint with the OAC. An employee who believes he/she has
been retaliated against can file a whistleblower complaint with
OAC. If the complaint is substantiated, the adverse personnel
action will be reversed.
- 13. How will evidence of fraud or misconduct discovered in
Audit and Compliance reviews be handled?
- A referral will be made to the Investigations Division for
- 14. How long does a typical investigation take to
- OAC strives to complete all investigations within 180