Fraud line a privacy threat, suspend it, UA auditor says

Posted: September 13, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

The chief auditor for the University of Arkansas System asked the system’s trustees Thursday to consider temporarily suspending the system’s 24-hour Fraud Hotline because of his concern public release of its tips could endanger privacy of whistle-blowers and those falsely accused.

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 09/13/2013

Seems like the FOI Act has allowances for withholding of some information. Surely it allows for withholding the *names* of accused--and the names of whistelblowers--until proper investigation has occurred. If not, there is a flaw in the act that needs correction. If so, then what's the problem? Shutting down hotlines is not the way to go; if you want to prevent fraud and abuse, you've got to have a way for it to be easily and anonymously reported.

Posted by: SPA

September 13, 2013 at 9:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I'm not convinced by the "disgruntled people" argument. "Unsubstantiated claims" can be made in many ways. It doesn't require a hotline. The real issue is how to protect genuine whistle-blowers. People calling that hotline expect confidentiality. It seems to me that the Arkansas Whistleblower Act can be interpreted to require the redaction of the names of potential whistleblowers. Maybe I'm wrong and a court would rule that FOIA needs to be amended. But the UA has rarely failed to find excuses for withholding or redacting documents. Why not in this of all cases? For example, the UA routinely redacts the names of business contacts in correspondence with private parties. FOIA doesn't provide an exemption for that. The UA doesn't care.

Posted by: ImUnarmed

September 13, 2013 at 1:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )