You are on page 1of 24

BROWARD OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

2012–2013 ANNUAL REPORT

ONE NORTH UNIVERSITY DRIVE, SUITE 111 PLANTATION, FLORIDA 33324 PHONE: (954) 357-7873 FAX: (954) 357-7857 HOTLINE: (954) 357-TIPS (8477) EMAIL: INSPECTORGENERAL@BROWARD.ORG WWW.BROWARDIG.ORG

A MESSAGE FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL It is again my privilege to present you with the annual report for the Broward Office of the Inspector General. This report describes the function of the OIG as Broward’s independent watchdog and details our efforts to investigate fraud, corruption, waste, abuse, and gross mismanagement in government. During this reporting period the OIG continued to strengthen and develop as an organization, while still concentrating on our primary role as a steward of the public fisc. To date, we have opened 66 matters based upon our own initiative and our review of 474 tips and 54 signed complaints. As a result, the OIG has identified over $7.5 million in questionable costs and expenditures, including $3.9 million during fiscal year 2013. And we are currently assisting prosecutors in four criminal matters arising from OIG investigations. We have also taken many steps to improve the services that the OIG provides, two of which rate special mention here. First, we enlarged our Contract Procurement Oversight Program. This year, the OIG initiated CPOP reviews of 18 contracts and procurements valued at over $57 million, which not only identified potential misconduct and gross mismanagement, but also culminated in a variety of costsaving remedial changes to county and municipal procurements. Second, the OIG greatly expanded its work in the area of ethics awareness and enforcement. We recruited an Ethics Counsel to our team in October 2012 and placed significant emphasis on education and outreach to promote compliance with the new ethics code, including providing free ethics training to 125 elected public officials. officials. The OIG remains mindful that public outreach and the promotion of transparency in government continue to reap important benefits for all Broward residents. To find out more about the OIG or to provide information regarding misconduct and gross mismanagement, please visit our completely redesigned website at www.browardig.org and follow us on Twitter@BrowardIG. Sincerely,

John W. Scott Inspector General

TABLE OF CONTENTS Mission Statement .....................................................................................................1 Organization and Structure .......................................................................................2 Authority and Responsibilities ..................................................................................3 Outreach ....................................................................................................................3 Organizational Development ....................................................................................4 Budget ....................................................................................................................... 5 Complaints, Tips and Information ............................................................................6 Investigations ............................................................................................................9 Contract and Procurement Oversight ......................................................................13 Ethics ....................................................................................................................... 16 Intergovernmental Cooperation ..............................................................................18 Moving Forward .....................................................................................................19

Broward OIG Mission Statement
The mission of the Broward Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is to act as an independent watchdog for the residents of Broward County. We promote integrity and accountability by investigating allegations of misconduct—including fraud, corruption, and abuse—and gross mismanagement, by officials and employees of the charter government of broward county, its thirty-one municipalities, and all entities and persons who provide goods and services to the county and the municipalities. The OIG publicly reports its findings to keep residents informed. Whenever appropriate, the OIG seeks criminal prosecution, civil recoveries, administrative and monetary sanctions, and ethics sanctions of those responsible for fraud, waste and abuse in government.

1

ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE The Broward Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was created and established by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in response to a Charter Amendment placed on the ballot and affirmed by the voters in November 2010. As a Charter agency the OIG’s purpose, authority and responsibilities are codified in Section 12.01 of the Charter of Broward County. The Charter authorizes the OIG to investigate misconduct—including fraud, corruption, abuse, and ethics violations—and gross mismanagement. John W. Scott was selected as the Broward Inspector General by the independent Selection-Oversight Committee and began his service in May 2011. The Inspector General continues to lead the development of the OIG with the goal of promoting integrity, accountability, and transparency in government on behalf of the residents of Broward County. Before becoming the Inspector General, Mr. Scott spent most of his career with the United States Department of Justice, where he investigated and prosecuted public corruption and fraud cases across the nation. Those cases included allegations of misconduct by federal, state and local officials including members of Congress, governors, judges, city council members, state legislators, members of the military, and law enforcement officials, as well as vendors, lobbyists and representatives of the banking, securities and finance industries. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University. As a new organization, the OIG continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community and its mission. The agency has three dedicated investigative units that work together to fulfill the broad and varied jurisdiction of the Inspector General: Investigations, Contract Oversight, and Ethics. The OIG is staffed with a diverse team of highly qualified individuals who bring to the organization a variety of specialties and skill sets. This team consists of the Inspector General, Deputy Inspector General, Assistant Inspector General, General Counsel, Ethics Counsel, Special Agents, Contract Oversight Specialists, and administrative support professionals including an Office Manager and an Investigative Support Specialist. These professionals include attorneys, former military, federal, state and local law enforcement officers, state regulatory investigators, procurement specialists, and administrative specialists. Our team holds certifications as fraud examiners, inspector general investigators, accountants, public procurement officers and criminal justice information system operators.

2 2

AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES The OIG functions as an independent watchdog for over 1.7 million residents of Broward County. The OIG’s authority extends over:  all elected and appointed county officials and employees;  all elected and appointed officials and employees of the 31 municipalities located in the county; and  all entities and persons who provide goods and services to the county and the municipalities. This responsibility encompasses county and municipal budgets totaling approximately $8.5 billion, more than 25,000 employees, and over 450 separate divisions and departments of government. In addition, the OIG has oversight responsibility for 174 elected officials including county commissioners, mayors, vice mayors, city commissioners, and town council members, as well as more than 47,000 registered vendors who provide goods or services to the county and municipalities. The Inspector General has the authority to investigate violations of state and federal statutes and codes, county and municipal ordinances and codes, and conduct involving fraud, corruption and abuse. The reports of investigation issued by the OIG provide and promote greater transparency in government for the residents of Broward County. The OIG is also charged with the responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics for Elected Officials, which was made applicable to all Broward elected officials in January 2012. OUTREACH The OIG has made it a priority to establish and maintain contact with government leaders, stakeholders, and residents of the county regarding their concerns and to inform them of the OIG’s mission and the services it provides. Members of the OIG have met with county and municipal officials to proactively deal with issues and have provided training opportunities to elected officials regarding ethics. The Inspector General has appeared before civic groups including the League of Women Voters and the Broward Workshop. In May of this year, the Inspector General and OIG Ethics Counsel served as panel members at the Miami-Dade Public Corruption Investigation Conference. Ethics Counsel also served as a

3 3

presenter at the Florida Bar’s Sunshine Law, Public Records and Public Service Ethics conference. To stay connected with all those we serve, the OIG continues to utilize technology as a tool to both provide and receive information. The OIG’s website, www.browardig.org, has been completely redesigned to be more informative and user friendly. The new design allows a user to intuitively navigate the site to obtain information about our office; to learn about our investigations, contract oversight efforts, and ethics programs; to read our issued reports; to stay up-to-date about our recent activity; and to find out how to contact us. Users can easily navigate from anywhere on the site to our “Report Misconduct” application, which encourages them to assist the OIG in combating fraud, waste, misconduct and gross mismanagement by providing information in a number of ways. To find out more about the OIG or to provide information regarding misconduct and gross mismanagement, please visit our website at www.browardig.org and follow us on Twitter@BrowardIG. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT The Inspector General is dedicated to developing an organization that is regarded by its peers and those it serves as maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. In furtherance of these goals, the OIG has been designated as a criminal justice agency by the FBI and is actively pursuing accreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. Since May 2011, the agency has worked diligently to develop key components of the organization including administration, staffing, and infrastructure in support of its primary investigative mission. The Inspector General has placed special emphasis on maintaining the highest level of professionalism. The OIG has invested and will continue to invest in its most valuable asset, its staff. The OIG provides in-house training to all new staff members on topics including the mission, function, and authority of the OIG; the Charter, the Broward County Code of Ordinances, and municipal codes; county and municipal government organization and function; ethics codes and the Sunshine laws; and proper investigative techniques and protocols. In addition to new staff member training, the OIG provides resources for continuing education to further develop, cross-train, and add new skills to our staff of professionals. Staff

4 4

members have participated in training provided by the county including new employee training, leadership, ethics, discrimination, Microsoft Office applications, web publishing, and use of procurement and payroll systems. In addition, staff members have participated in training provided by various government entities and associations including county and local government law, criminal justice information systems security and awareness, financial crimes and fraud investigations, fraud and unethical conduct in government, and interview and interrogation techniques. The OIG and its staff participate as members of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG), a national organization comprised of state, local and federal inspectors general and their staffs. All Special Agents of the OIG have received the designation of Certified Inspector General Investigator after undergoing training and testing by the AIG. One of our Contract Oversight Specialists has also been designated as a Certified Public Procurement Officer. During this reporting period, members of the OIG staff also underwent additional training provided by the AIG, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Government Finance Officers Association, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Bar, and the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials. BUDGET Although the OIG’s budget is funded through the county general fund, the Charter requires that the OIG remain an independent organization to assure that no interference or external influence affects the objectivity of the office. Each year the Inspector General, pursuant to the Charter, submits a proposed budget to the County Commission in accordance with the county’s regular budget process. The proposed budget includes a reasonable estimate of operating and capital expenses, which includes funds required to retain hearing officers. The funds must be approved by the County Commission. In addition, the County Administrator and Office of Budget and Management provide resources and support throughout the budget process. As a steward of public funds, the OIG remains committed to operating in a fiscally responsible manner. The OIG’s approved budget for fiscal year (FY) 2012 was $1,892,500, with actual expenditures of $1,609,520, approximately 15% less than the adopted budget. The approved budget for FY 2013 was $2,044,400 with an

5 5

estimated actual expenditure of $1,814,4831, approximately 11% less than the adopted budget. The OIG’s FY 2013 budget represented 0.05% of the county’s total budget. The number of positions authorized for FY 2013 was 16. For FY 2014, which commenced on October 1, 2013, the OIG has been allotted an adopted budget of $2,311,860 and a total of 18 positions.

OIG Budget
$2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $0 Adopted Actual

FY 2012

FY 2013

COMPLAINTS, TIPS, AND INFORMATION The OIG was established to investigate misconduct and gross mismanagement. Investigations are initiated based on complaints, tips and other information that is thoroughly evaluated. The Inspector General has the authority to commence an investigation based on the existence of good cause to believe that any official, employee, or provider has engaged in misconduct or gross mismanagement. The Inspector General may find good cause based upon his own initiative or on a signed complaint. Tips and Information All county and municipal employees and residents are encouraged to assist the OIG in combating fraud, waste, misconduct and gross mismanagement by providing tips and information. There are a number of ways to provide information to the OIG.
The OIG has provided an estimate of actual expenditures because the Broward County Office of Budget and Management had not yet finalized actual expenditures for FY 2013 as of the preparation of this report.
1

6 6

We accept tips and information through our Hotline at (954) 357-TIPS, email at We accept tips and information through Hotline at (954) 357-TIPS, at fax at our (954) InspectorGeneral@broward.org, 357-7857, mail, or in email person. We accept tips and information through our Hotline at (954) 357-TIPS, email at InspectorGeneral@broward.org, fax at (954) 357-7857, or information, in person. Information may be provided without disclosing a name ormail, contact InspectorGeneral@broward.org, fax at (954) 357-7857, mail, or in person. Information provided without a themselves name or contact information, although themay OIGbe encourages persons disclosing to identify should additional Information may be provided without disclosing a name or contact information, although the OIG encourages persons to identify themselves should additional information be needed during the investigative process. although the OIG encourages persons to identify themselves should additional information needed during the investigative process. To date the be OIG has received 474 tips, 194 of which were received during this information be needed during the investigative process. To date the OIG Once has received 474 tips,it194 of which received during this reporting period. a tip is received is reviewed to were determine the appropriate To date the OIG has received 474 tips, 194 of which were received during this reporting Once a tip is received it is reviewed to determine the appropriate action andperiod. assignment. reporting period. Once a tip is received it is reviewed to determine the appropriate action and assignment. action and assignment.

Total Tips Received To Date Total   Tips Tips   Received Received   To To   Date Date Total
11 11 11 Total Tips Total Tips Total Tips 49 49 49 100 100 100 116 116 116 100 100 100 150 150 150 198 198 198 200 200 200 Fax Fax Mail Fax Mail Hotline Mail Hotline In  Person Hotline In  Person E ‐Mail In Person E‐Mail E‐Mail

0 0 0

50 50 50

During FY 2013, 75% of the tips received required additional follow-up because During 2013, 75% of the tips received required additional follow-up because they didFY not contain sufficient detail to make an investigative determination, an During FY 2013, 75% of the tips received required additional follow-up because they did of not contain to make an additional investigative determination, increase 15% from sufficient FY 2012. detail Tips may require follow-up to assist an in they did not contain sufficient detail to make an investigative determination, an increase of 15% from FY 2012. Tips may require follow-up to assist in the determination of jurisdiction, applicable law or additional other clarification. increase of 15% from FY 2012. Tips may require additional follow-up to assist in the determination of jurisdiction, applicable law or other clarification. the determination of jurisdiction, applicable law or other clarification.

7 7 7 7

Tips Requiring Additional Follow‐up2
300 250 200 150 100 50 0 FY 2012 FY 2013 170 280 194 147 Tips Received Tips Requiring Additional Follow‐up

Since May 2011, 66 tips have resulted in the initiation of investigative matters and 112 tips have been referred to other governmental agencies. Of the tips received in the past year, 46 have resulted in investigative matters or are currently pending a final determination by the OIG.2

Disposition of Tips Received To Date
66 14% 25 5% 112 24%

271 57%

Referred

Insufficient Grounds

Matter Opened

Pending Follow Up

2

The number of tips depicted in the table for FY 2012 is greater than that of FY 2013. We note that FY 2012, the OIG’s first reporting period, spanned sixteen months.

8 8

Complaints The Inspector General may find good cause based on a signed, verified complaint. The Charter requires a complaint to be signed, under a penalty of perjury, with a statement that the complainant has personal knowledge that the facts. Persons who wish to file a complaint with the OIG may obtain a complaint form from the OIG website, or by contacting the OIG at (954) 357-7873. The complaint must be completed, signed and delivered to the Broward Office of the Inspector General, One North University Drive, Suite 111, Plantation, Florida, 33324. To date, the OIG has received 54 signed complaints, including 19 received during this reporting period. Our review of those complaints has led to the establishment of good cause to open six investigations. The OIG has referred nine complaints to other government agencies for appropriate action and five complaints are currently pending a final determination of good cause. INVESTIGATIONS In order to maximize efficiency and the knowledge base of our staff, the OIG investigative function is executed by three dedicated units: matters primarily relating to ethics are supervised by the Ethics Counsel, matters primarily relating to contracts or procurement processes are addressed by the Contract and Procurement Oversight team, and general misconduct or gross mismanagement is the primary responsibility of the Investigations unit. The Deputy Inspector General is responsible for overseeing all investigative functions and the Investigations unit assists in all OIG matters. The OIG’s work in the areas of ethics and procurement oversight are discussed in separate sections below. The Investigations unit is primarily responsible for the investigation of general allegations of misconduct and gross mismanagement by Broward and municipal elected officials, employees and providers. Misconduct is defined as “any violation of the state or federal constitution, any state or federal statute or code, any county or municipal ordinance or code; or conduct involving fraud, corruption, or abuse.” Gross mismanagement is defined as “the material waste or significant mismanagement of public resources.” OIG Special Agents are responsible for reviewing and corroborating information from hundreds of tips and complaints. They must also:

9 9

    

conduct thorough, well documented investigations; perform extensive background checks; carry out detailed ethics compliance reviews; engage in outreach; and monitor assigned municipalities in order to become familiar with their processes and issues.

Although OIG investigations vary in size and complexity, most require interviews of witnesses and implicated parties, review of numerous documents, analysis of financial records, and the preparation of detailed reports summarizing investigative findings. To date, the OIG has identified over $7.5 million in questionable costs and expenditures, including $3.9 million during this reporting period. Currently, the OIG is also assisting prosecutors in four criminal matters resulting from OIG investigations. In light of the pending criminal investigations, the OIG will not elaborate on those matters at this time. As with the matters currently under consideration by prosecutors, not all OIG investigative matters result in a report. The OIG issues reports at the conclusion of investigations involving allegations of gross mismanagement. We also issue reports involving allegations of misconduct when we determine that such a report will assist the county or any municipality in preventing similar future misconduct. When the issuance of a report is not warranted, the OIG may issue a memorandum notifying officials of the closure of the investigation and detailing its work. Following are summaries of significant general investigative findings made by the OIG in the past year. Gross Mismanagement of Public Funds by the City of Hallandale Beach and the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency The OIG issued a final report finding that officials of the City of Hallandale Beach and the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) grossly mismanaged public funds entrusted to the care of the CRA. The OIG investigation revealed that city and CRA officials treated CRA funds as fungible city assets and that they failed to ensure that the CRA was operated independently. The OIG found that between 2007 and 2012, the CRA made over $2.1 million in questionable expenditures, including $125,000 in inappropriate loans; $416,365 in

10 10

the improper use of bond proceeds; and $1,474,739 million in payments for socially beneficial programs and $152,494 for civic promotions, both purposes which the Florida Attorney General has determined were prohibited by Florida law. Our investigation also raised concerns about the CRA’s failure to regularly monitor the performance of recipients of CRA funds, or to verify whether the funds were actually used for authorized purposes. While the OIG was encouraged by the remedial steps taken by the city and the CRA throughout the investigation, the OIG remained concerned that the city had not acknowledged the statutory limits on the use of TIF funds diverted to the CRA. The OIG made several recommendations designed to promote accountability and transparency. As a result of the OIG’s investigation, city officials have made some improvements to the CRA organizational structure. The CRA has claimed to have enrolled the Director, accounting staff and Board members in CRA specific training. The CRA has also made attempts to revamp its process for the receipt, evaluation, funding and compliance of Community Partnership grants, and has adopted additional controls that should improve compliance with Chapter 163 of the Florida statutes. The Hallandale Beach investigation and findings relating to the CRA have been the subject of many inquiries to the OIG from agencies throughout Florida. One of the effects of the investigation has been to bring a renewed interest in the standards governing CRAs and a re-evaluation by various entities of their own processes. In fact, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee for the State of Florida has since sent communications to Hallandale Beach seeking additional information, and is considering sanctioning a full audit by the Auditor General based on the issues raised by our investigation. Vendor’s Scheme to Overbill Broward County for Transportation Services The OIG also issued a final report finding that the Daniel D. Cantor Senior Center (Cantor) engaged in a pattern of submitting inflated billings to Broward County which falsely characterized transportation services provided by Cantor. Specifically, the OIG determined that Cantor staff operated a scheme to bill the county for riders even when those persons were not using Cantor’s transportation services. In order to accomplish the scheme, the Transportation Operations Manager directed Cantor’s bus drivers to falsify records of client ridership, known

11 11

as route manifests, overstating the number of billable trips chargeable to the county. The investigation determined that the manager personally falsified route manifests and entered false information into a data system. In addition, after the county installed electronic tracking devices in Cantor buses to monitor ridership, the manager directed Cantor drivers to drive their buses to locations of clients who were not actually transported, for the purpose of creating a false record of the buses’ routes and stops. Between January 1, 2010 and February 28, 2013, Cantor billed for services at a total cost to the county of approximately $1.6 million. In the case of just four riders, the OIG identified questionable billings in the approximate amount of $28,850. Due to the nature of the misconduct in which Cantor’s staff engaged, the OIG could not ascertain a specific value for the total falsified transports billed to the county. County officials have commenced a review of the findings to determine whether Cantor should be excluded from participation in county contracts. In addition the Broward County Purchasing Department was tasked to determine the amount, if any, of monetary recovery due to the county as a result of the billing practices noted in the report. Allegations that the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Awarded a Public Works Contract in Violation of Its Procurement Policies The OIG issued a memorandum informing the City of Dania Beach that we had concluded our investigation into allegations that its CRA may have engaged in favoritism and steering in the award of an $850,000 contract for construction of two streetscape projects in violation of its procurement policies. Although the OIG did not substantiate the allegations, in the course of its investigation it found several deficiencies in the supervision and oversight of the streetscape projects that caused the CRA to fail to timely comply with the city’s rights-of-way permitting ordinance and the Traffic Engineering Agreement the city entered into with Broward County. As of this writing, the projects have been completed, and the CRA and the city are now in compliance with all applicable authorities. Accordingly, the OIG transmitted its findings through a closing memorandum, rather than an investigative report.

12 12

Allegations of Commissioner’s Residency outside the Municipal Limits of Lauderdale Lakes The OIG received allegations that a commissioner of the City of Lauderdale Lakes was not residing within the city limits as required by the city charter. The charter also included a section providing that the city commission be the sole judge of the applicability of the residency requirement. Thus, the OIG investigated the matter and made no finding, but provided the available evidence to the commission for its consideration. During the course of the investigation the OIG also found evidence that certain state statutes may have been violated. That evidence was referred to the Florida Department of Elections for its review and consideration. CONTRACT AND PROCUREMENT OVERSIGHT In order to fulfill its responsibility as an independent watchdog over the expenditure of taxpayer funds, the OIG has a specialized investigative program focused on public procurement and contract execution. The Contract and Procurement Oversight Program (CPOP) is a natural outgrowth of the OIG’s responsibility to detect gross mismanagement, defined as “material waste or significant mismanagement of public resources.” The objective of CPOP reviews is to detect the vulnerabilities that make government entities susceptible to the waste of public resources, and to prevent that waste whenever possible. Utilizing the OIG’s collective procurement, investigative and legal experience, the program is designed to randomly review recent or ongoing procurements and test the processes of each governmental entity. In the past year, the OIG expanded its CPOP program by utilizing an existing allocated position to add a second Contract Oversight Specialist. As a result, the OIG was able to initiate CPOP reviews of 18 contracts or procurements valued at over $57 million. Ten reviews were finalized, prompting a variety of actions at the county and various municipalities. Three reviews in the past year have resulted in investigations of potential misconduct or gross mismanagement. On the county level, one of the CPOP reviews involved allegations that the prospective winning bidder in a landscaping procurement did not possess the necessary licenses. The county had drafted a proposed recommendation for award which was withdrawn upon receiving the allegations. The review revealed that the

13 13

allegations were unsubstantiated. However, the OIG discovered that eight of eleven bids had been found by the county to be non-compliant due to technical deficiencies in the bid documents. In fact, the lowest bidder was not being considered for award, despite a potential savings of $538,377.08. Concerned about the markedly high percentage of rejected bids and a possible non-competitive price, the OIG alerted county administration. After meeting with the OIG, the county Purchasing Director initiated a review of the procurement which resulted in a revised recommendation to reject all bids in favor of a new solicitation which may potentially save the county over $500,000. With regard to the City of Miramar, a CPOP review established good cause to initiate an investigation of possible favoritism and bid steering. The OIG’s review revealed that the city’s own internal review of the process had incorrectly analyzed the rankings and misinformed the commission with respect to the possibility of favoritism. The city cooperated with an OIG investigation that ultimately found the evidence of favoritism did not rise to the level of probable cause. However, a number of deficiencies in the procurement process had resulted in a process mired in confusion, vulnerable to abuse, and overly susceptible to the very allegations that were then lodged against the city. The CPOP team met with city officials to review the findings and discuss potential improvements. Ultimately, the city opted to reject the previous procurement process and attempt a new competitive process. The new solicitation incorporated the OIG’s recommendations, which were designed with the city’s input, taking into account its specific structure, and intended to strengthen the overall procurement process. The OIG has also conducted several smaller-scale or targeted reviews designed to help municipalities improve their processes. In the City of Oakland Park, a review of two contracts revealed that the city could benefit from specific protocols to secure sealed bids, procedures for pre-bid meetings, and other recommendations. The City of Hollywood responded to an OIG recommendation by immediately updating its boilerplate solicitation documents to correct an error that would have limited competition and provided explicit evaluation criteria that had previously not been addressed. In accordance with CPOP’s collaborative approach, the OIG also reviewed a new draft procurement code for the City of Lauderdale Lakes. Readers may recall that the OIG conducted two extensive investigations in 2011 which resulted in numerous findings of misconduct and gross mismanagement by city officials.

14 14

One of the investigations revealed a serious lack of procurement controls. In response to the investigations and high public scrutiny, the city drafted a new procurement code which will address some of the identified issues. At the city’s request, the OIG worked with the city to review the draft code and recommended a variety of changes designed to strengthen the integrity of the procurement process. Misconduct by the City of Fort Lauderdale in the Award of the Contract for the Design and Construction of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex CPOP also uncovered serious deficiencies in the City of Ft. Lauderdale which led to an investigation of misconduct. The OIG issued a final report finding that the City of Fort Lauderdale violated a state statute when it awarded a $32 million contract for the design and construction of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. Our review of the solicitation revealed that it was vague and undermined competition by confusing prospective proposers about the services sought by the city. Despite the defective solicitation, the city executed a design-build contract with the sole proposer in violation of Florida law, which mandates a specific competitive process for the solicitation and award of design-build contracts, including the development of a design criteria package and obtaining no fewer than three proposals. During the procurement process, city officials had neglected to answer basic questions such as whether the negotiated proposal remained responsive to the solicitation, a finding that would indicate whether or not the city could legally award the contract pursuant to its own regulations. The City Attorney, since retired, also admitted that his office had no process for routinely reviewing proposed contracts to ensure compliance with the statute in question. Our review of the final contract also revealed additional deficiencies: the City Commission was told the contract contained language that was never, in fact, incorporated, and the contract also allocated $60,027 for unidentified costs. Most significantly, the city agreed to a provision in the contract that shielded $1.66 million of reimbursable labor costs from audit, which would have prevented the city from determining if it was being overbilled for the vendor’s supervisory and administrative labor costs. That provision has now been removed from the contract.

15 15

ETHICS The OIG’s authority extends to the enforcement of ethics codes, including Broward Code of Ordinances Section 1-19, Code of Ethics for Elected Officials (Code of Ethics), which was made applicable to all county and municipal elected officials in January 2012. In the past year the OIG has greatly expanded its work in the area of ethics awareness and enforcement. As noted in our previous annual report, the OIG recruited an Ethics Counsel to our team in October 2012 and has placed a significant emphasis on education and outreach to promote compliance with the new code. Investigations and Enforcement During this reporting period, we reviewed 22 tips and opened 11 investigations that were ethics-related, some of them still ongoing. One of those matters resulted in an ethics enforcement action, as described below. In September 2013, the Inspector General filed a complaint against David McLean, the suspended Vice Mayor of Margate, for alleged civil infractions of the Ethics Code. The complaint seeks $25,000 in fines and $12,000 in disgorgement. The complaint alleges that, between May 25, 2012, and January 30, 2013, Mr. McLean accepted in his official capacity four unauthorized gifts of over $50 each and failed to provide “honest services” to the citizens of Margate. The allegations are that he did so by providing consulting to his business’s landlord on how to obtain a city “special exception use” for the landlord’s business and how to obtain CRA funds to improve the shopping center that both of their businesses occupied, in exchange for free rent worth $8,000 and cash totaling $6,000. Mr. McLean was serving as Margate City Commissioner and Vice Mayor, and Margate CRA Director at the time of the alleged violations. The OIG has also continued its practice of reviewing public disclosure compliance with the goal of promoting full compliance with the code. In July 2013, the OIG published its review of the ethics training certifications required by the Ethics Code. This was the first review for compliance with the requirement that all of Broward’s elected officials timely file their training certification forms. Our review determined that ninety-seven (97) percent of county and municipal elected officials who held office in 2012 had filed their ethics training certifications as mandated. However, we found good cause to believe that three elected officials

16 16

failed in their obligation under the Code. Accordingly, an investigation is under way to determine whether probable cause exists to pursue enforcement pursuant to Section 12.01 of the Broward County Charter. Two additional ethics compliance reviews were underway at the close of this reporting period. Training and Outreach The OIG hosted four free ethics training classes for county and municipal elected officials in the current reporting period. We educated 125 attendees on public service ethics, with the aim of assisting elected officials in meeting their training requirements under the Ethics Code. We focused on the topics of the county Ethics Code, the state code of ethics, and state open meetings and public records laws. And the OIG has committed to making such training available at least once each quarter in the upcoming fiscal year. The OIG has also continued its practice of requiring OIG staff to have the most upto-date and extensive ethics training available. Special Agents and Contract Oversight Specialists were provided with specialized ethics training in August 2013. To improve awareness, the OIG has created reference pamphlets summarizing four major areas of applicable state and local ethics laws: Gift Acceptance and Reporting, Conflicts of Interest, Required Disclosures, and Lobbying. We are distributing these guides at our ethics training sessions along with other helpful materials, including the Ethics Code, which we have published in desk reference booklet form. Stemming from communications we had with local government attorneys, in March 2013, we also released the first edition of our “OIG Ethics Handbook: An Internal Guide for Investigations Pursuant to the Broward Code of Ethics.” The handbook articulates our enforcement priorities, timing, and working definitions. While intended to be an internal manual, it has been posted online to assist the public in understanding the OIG’s interpretation of the Ethics Code and how elected officials can comply with the Code. Making the handbook publicly available has increased the transparency of OIG investigations and contributed to a more consistent application of the Ethics Code.

17 17

On a regular basis, Ethics Counsel also provides ongoing guidance to public, local officials, and the press on the OIG’s interpretation of applicable ethics laws. In addition, the OIG is in the process of working with county and municipal officials to identify and implement necessary improvements to the county’s public integrity structure. The OIG’s new website has also been designed to make ethics information more transparent and readily available. It includes substantive information specific to elected officials, public employees, providers, and lobbyists, and includes state and local codes and charter provisions relating to ethics. Our Ethics Handbook is accessible from the site. Elected officials can sign up for upcoming OIG training at no charge, and locate ethics training which is available from other public institutions, including free and low-cost online ethics training. Internal and external publications that provide summaries and explanations of ethics laws are also accessible at our new site. All disclosure forms required under the Ethics Code and the state code of ethics are provided. Finally, we have linked the web pages that post the required disclosures for the county and each of the 31 municipalities. INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION The OIG has developed and maintained relationships with law enforcement, regulatory, and governmental agencies throughout the county. The OIG actively participates as a member of the Broward County Public Corruption Task Force, the South Florida Inspectors General Council, and the Financial Institution Security Association. In addition, we have participated in the Law Enforcement Coordination Committee, which brings together law enforcement executives at the federal, state and local levels to discuss issues of mutual interest. The OIG has developed and continues to foster working relationships with the FBI and other federal authorities, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, municipal police departments, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, the Broward State Attorney’s office, and the Florida inspector general community. We participate as members of the National and Florida Chapter of the Association of Inspectors General whose mission is to foster and promote public accountability and integrity in the general areas of prevention, examination, investigation, audit, detection, elimination and prosecution of fraud, waste and abuse, through policy research and analysis;

18 18

standardization of practices, policies, conduct and ethics; encouragement of professional development by providing and sponsoring educational programs; and the establishment of professional qualifications, certifications, and licensing. We also have developed working relationships with civic organizations and governmental agencies as it pertains to our ethics efforts. As a designated criminal justice agency, the OIG is able to access and acquire information through various interstate and intrastate information systems, which has enhanced our investigative function. MOVING FORWARD As a professional and continually evolving entity, the OIG routinely analyzes its organization and structure to identify potential improvements. A thorough review of our processes in the past year revealed potential improvements in the timeliness and efficiency for completing investigations. We realized that to be more effective and efficient, we needed to reduce the time of investigation without sacrificing the thoroughness with which we carry out our Charter responsibilities. As a result, the OIG has streamlined its intake process and added two additional positions to expand our investigative capabilities. The OIG expects to more quickly address incoming tips and information and actively engage more municipalities. We will continue to develop outreach programs with the goal of increasing the number of quality tips and complaints we receive. The additional personnel in CPOP will also enhance our ability to monitor a higher percentage of public procurements and better protect against gross mismanagement. Additional improvements to our processes and procedures will also be forthcoming in 2014. The OIG has applied to attain accreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). The CFA was formed in 1994 to establish accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies. Later it was expanded to include corrections agencies, pretrial service agencies, and inspectors general. The CFA is the first program in the nation to accredit OIGs. To attain accreditation, the OIG must prepare for and successfully complete an independent review of its policies, procedures, management and operations that requires compliance with approximately 40 uniform, best-practice standards. We will be carefully refining our policies and procedures to comply with the CFA standards, while ensuring compliance with our Charter responsibilities. The receipt of accreditation by the CFA assures the public that the OIG conducts its investigations

19 19

with the highest degree of professional excellence, and complies with statewide recognized standards. The OIG has also conducted a thorough review of the current ethics and public integrity structure in Broward County and has identified a number of recommendations which would improve the consistency, transparency and effectiveness of the ethics reform sought by the county’s residents. In the coming year the OIG will be publishing its recommendations and seeking the input of stakeholders throughout the county. Finally, the OIG will be working on all of the above goals while undergoing a physical expansion to provide necessary room for records retention, interviews, and workspace. The OIG offices are centrally located in the Broward Government Center West facility, which provides us convenient access to all entities within our jurisdiction. During the last year, we have worked with county staff to develop a plan to expand our office space within our existing location. Thanks to their support and cooperation, the physical work will commence in the upcoming year, which may temporarily interfere with operations but will establish the infrastructure and security required to accomplish our mission.

20 20

INSPECTOR

GENERAL
BRt9WARD
FLORIDA