Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130113
   Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 130113 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1074-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: WEB PAGE TO ACCESSIBLE TO REPORT FRAUD Introduced: 1/22/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/18/2012
Agenda Date: 12/18/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE 121587 Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO CREATE A WEB PAGE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE FROM THE COUNTY’S HOMEPAGE THAT WILL ENABLE CITIZENS TO REPORT FRAUD [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 121587]
Indexes: FRAUD
  WEBSITE
Sponsors: Lynda Bell, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Juan C. Zapata, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 1/22/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 1/28/2013

Board of County Commissioners 12/18/2012 11A1 Amended Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Commissioner Sosa said that she would like to release her pull of Agenda Item 11A1, as her questions were answered. Commissioner Bell noted an amendment would be read into the record for Agenda Item 11A1. Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty advised that on handwritten page five, in the third WHEREAS clause, the word “single” should be removed, and in the NOW, THEREFORE clause, at the end of that sentence, the words “where appropriate and applicable” should be added. The last two sentences should be amended to read as follows: “The internal working group should include, among others, 311, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Inspector General. An invitation should also be extended to the Property Appraiser to participate in the internal working group.” The Board adopted the foregoing proposed resolution, as amended.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO CREATE A WEB PAGE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE FROM THE COUNTY’S HOMEPAGE THAT WILL ENABLE CITIZENS TO REPORT FRAUD

BODY
WHEREAS, fraud has a pernicious effect on our community that deprives local governments of valuable revenue sources, increases the tax burden on law-abiding citizens, and promotes a general lack of trust not only in our government officials but also in our neighbors; and
WHEREAS, even a cursory examination of Miami-Dade County’s website reveals a vast number of web pages that each deal with different types of fraud including, but not limited to, mortgage fraud, deed fraud, HUD fraud, contractor fraud, homestead exemption fraud, Medicare fraud, consumer fraud, and government fraud; and
WHEREAS, these web pages are not linked to one another, they often have different reporting methods, and they are frequently operated by wholly different County departments; and
WHEREAS, any concerned citizen seeking to perform a public service and report fraud must presently navigate a digital labyrinth that does not easily direct citizens to the proper site; and
WHEREAS, the present framework can lead to confusion, frustration, and, worse yet, can permit fraud to ultimately go unreported; and
WHEREAS, due in part to the current recession, rising unemployment, and the decline in the real estate market, there appears to have been an increase in occurrences of fraud throughout Miami-Dade County; and 
WHEREAS, the County already devotes significant resources to combating fraud; and
WHEREAS, the investigation and enforcement of laws concerning fraud can lead to the recovery of tax revenue and other monies due and owing to the County, municipalities and the School Board; and
WHEREAS, the Property Appraiser, for example, has done an admirable job of investigating and penalizing tax exemption fraud in general, has increased his investigations in this area, and, in the last three years, has returned to the tax roll over $1.3 billion in taxable property, and has, in 2011, filed a record $7.9 million in tax liens so that, as of May 22, 2012, there are over $14.5 million in tax liens recorded with the Clerk of the Courts; and
WHEREAS, funds recovered through the investigation of all forms of fraud can be used to finance a variety of County-wide services; and 
WHEREAS, losses in revenue due to the economic slow-down and recession have already forced the County to reduce services, lower support to deserving community groups, lay off employees, and cut salaries and benefits; and 
WHEREAS, if nothing is done, these losses in revenues will cause even further cuts and reductions, creating more hardships, and perhaps even threatening the funding for essential social services to children and the elderly and even for police and fire protection; and 
WHEREAS, in such difficult economic times, the County should not have to address revenue losses by raising the millage rate or increasing taxes, which places the burden on the hard-working, law-abiding people of South Florida who cannot afford to pay more taxes while still caring for their own families and trying to grow the economy; and 
WHEREAS, it is therefore more important than ever to ensure that all forms of fraud are fully investigated; and
WHEREAS, a comprehensive approach to addressing fraud in Miami-Dade County will require the assistance of concerned citizens as well as dedicated County employees; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade citizens cannot become fully involved in this process unless the County makes it easier for them to report fraud; and
WHEREAS, there should be a web page, directly accessible from the County’s homepage (http://www.miamidade.gov), that serves as a one-stop clearinghouse for all fraud reporting; and
WHEREAS, this site should enable concerned citizens to either report fraud directly from the newly created site or easily direct citizens to the proper department or agency,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the Mayor or mayor’s designee is directed to create a web page directly accessible from the County’s homepage that will enable citizens to report fraud. This web page should include a feature where any citizen who uses the site to report fraud will receive an electronic reply that includes a case/referral number for ease of reference and to facilitate any necessary follow-up where appropriate and applicable. This web page shall also include an option for citizens to report fraud anonymously. The Mayor or mayor’s designee is further directed to create an internal working group to streamline the fraud reporting process and implement those recommended changes to the web portal. The internal working group should include, among others, 311, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Inspector General. An invitation should be extended to the Property Appraiser to participate on the internal working group.



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