Preventing District Waste and Fraud

By Charles K. Trainor

Canadian artist Leonard Cohen recorded a song entitled “Everybody Knows” -- a bleak commentary on modern culture. He highlights aspects of social blight such as war, poverty, and the limits of upward mobility. The refrain declares that although everybody knows serious problems exist, those issues are tacitly accepted and so persist.

These sentiments often are reflected in the workplace. Many employees recognize problems but feel unable to make change happen because they lack power. Or perhaps they witness colleagues taking action only to suffer retribution in the form of reduced work hours, loss of promotion, or even dismissal. They fear payback should they challenge the status quo.

Does your district have a system that encourages reporting unethical or illegal behavior and protects informants? Let’s explore how employee education, anonymous tip hotlines, and exit interviews are helping districts identify and actually do something to solve workplace problems.

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