Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Avoiding Katrina Frauds

Katrina frauds have been a major focus of the Department of Justice (DOJ) (see post here).  So it is not surprising to see in the news yet more indictments.  But the number of indictments and source that they come from were a bit surprising.  The Washington Post reports here that 50 people were indicted in California and some of them worked at a Red Cross call center.

But also in the news here (Washington Post), it seems that Washington intends to look through the piles of money spent in the aftermath of Katrina. It seems that "[f]ederal employees helping victims of Hurricane Katrina charged more than $39 million on government credit cards for disaster relief items."   Some may argue that this number is high - but is it really?  Remember the number of people left homeless with nothing. 

There seems to be a lot of time and energy being spent reacting to frauds and possible frauds in the aftermath of Katrina. Is anyone spending the same time on thinking about how to properly prepare for the expenses and needs of other possible diasters, to learning from the mistakes of how the Katrina recovery efforts were managed, and to what could be done from an environmental stance to avoid floods like seen in New Orleans post-Katrina. Where is the line between mismanagement and fraud?



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