Lawmakers may soon have a new tool aimed at rooting out fraud and corruption in state government.
A House committee today advanced legislation that would pay a reward to any state employee who reports waste or inefficiency. That employee would stand to receive 10 percent of any savings the state gains from their report.
Republican Representative Nate Bell of Mena says he sees his bill is a safeguard.
“It’s as much preventative as it is curative. At this point, you know, obviously if there is fraud we don’t know about it. The idea is, if it is occurring then it brings it to the light of day and if it isn’t occurring then it helps prevent it in the future,” Bell said.
Bell says his bill has protections against excessive false claims in that it only rewards claims that have resulted in taxpayer savings. The bill would award up to 10 percent of the total savings to the whistleblower.
The House is expected to vote on the bill next week.