September 7, 2010
Letter from U.S. Secretary Duncan
re: Fraud, Waste & Abuse of Funds
ARRA INFORMATION FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICIA I. WRIGHT
The following letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is forwarded for your information:
From: Honeysett, Adam
Subject: Letter from Secretary Duncan re: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse of Funds
September 7, 2010
Dear Chief State School Officers:
As you prepare for another school year, we want to provide you with some important information related to reporting fraud, waste, and abuse of funds from the U.S. Department of Education (Department). We know that 2010 has been particularly busy for everyone. Funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have provided an unprecedented opportunity to save jobs and advance reforms that improve student achievement. With this opportunity comes increased responsibility for all of us to conduct ourselves ethically and to mitigate the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
Like you, the Department, including the Office of Inspector General (OIG), works to ensure that education dollars reach intended recipients and serve intended purposes. We also work to ensure that these funds and programs funded by the Department are protected from fraud, waste, and abuse. As part of this important effort, we are providing several resources that describe fraud laws and how to report fraud at www.ed.gov/fraudprevention. Please distribute this information widely among your employees, subgrantees, and contractors.
The OIG identifies and investigates individuals and groups who may have committed fraud with education funds or with respect to Department-funded programs. Each week, criminals are prosecuted and convicted, and receive sentences that include significant prison terms and monetary penalties. Cases have included school or college officials making false statements regarding grant eligibility and performance; creating false documents to obtain grants for students who do not attend the school or are enrolled in ineligible programs; setting up shell companies to which education dollars are funneled; embezzling money from school accounts; using school accounts and credit cards to make purchases for personal purposes; and accepting bribes and kickbacks from contractors.
Please help us put a stop to these crimes. In addition to reading and distributing this information, report any suspicion of fraud, waste, or abuse to the OIG Special Agent in Charge in your geographic area. Contact information is available at the following Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/oigaddress.html. You also may contact the OIG by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org; calling 1-800-MISUSED (1-800-647-8733); or writing to: Inspector General’s Hotline, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1500.
Thank you for your continued leadership and efforts on behalf of your students.
Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
Kathleen S. Tighe, Inspector General
State Title I Directors
State Directors of Special Education
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Contacts