As an innovative approach to meeting today’s rapidly-changing technological landscape, City Controller Alan Butkovitz last week launched the City of Philadelphia’s first fraud reporting app called, “Philly WatchDog,” that allows citizens to take an active role in reporting fraud through smartphone technology.
According to Butkovitz, “This is a free app that lets citizens instantly report incidents of fraud, waste or abuse directly to my Fraud Unit. The Philly WatchDog app is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.”
“When it comes to reporting fraud and waste in Philadelphia, I’m proud to say that ‘we now have an app for that,'” said Butkovitz, at today’s press conference. “Like any investigative unit of government, we oftentimes rely on the public to help us identify waste and fraud in city government. It is critically important for government to be on the same technological page as our citizens.”
Along with being the first app of its kind for the City of Philadelphia, it’s also the first app in the nation that focuses on reporting fraudulent incidents directly to a government entity. One of the key features of the Philly WatchDog app is the ability for users to record and upload video of fraudulent activities on the app, which goes directly to Controller’s Fraud Unit.
Other features of the app include: the option to report incidents anonymously, GPS feature to pinpoint location of incident, capture a photo or upload a stored media file, type the description of the app incident and a one-touch button to call the Controller’s hotline directly. The free Philly WatchDog app can be downloaded through the App store on an iPhone or iPad by searching “Philly WatchDog” or by downloading it through iTunes on your computer.
“I encourage all Philadelphians to join our fight to expose waste and fraud in city government and ultimately save tax dollars by downloading our “Philly Watchdog” app and using it,” said Butkovitz.
Butkovitz continued, “Since first taking office, we have proactively used technology to connect our office with the citizens of Philadelphia. We have made a concerted attempt to use our website as a tool to inform and educate the citizens of Philadelphia – and elicit their feedback.”
For more information about the City Controller’s Office’s efforts to provide access and transparency to Philadelphians as well as view the 2011 Gold Medal Winner for Best Website awarded by the Association of Local Government Auditors, please visit www.philadelphiacontroller.org