Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Office of the National Public Auditor Launches Fraud Awareness Program

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): July 28, 2009 - The Office of the National Public Auditor (ONPA) has launched a Fraud Awareness Program with the objective of bringing attention to government fraud, a very serious concern in the nation. By educating government employees, schools and the general public on what fraud is and how it impacts government operations, the ONPA hopes to encourage the public to be vigilant and more likely to recognize and report fraud. An environment where fraud is recognized and reported helps to deter and prevent individuals from committing such crime. Therefore, education is considered a preventative tool in the fight against fraud.

The activities involved in the educational awareness program include dissemination of information throughout the FSM by the use of banners, flyers, hotline cards, advertisements, and fraud awareness briefings. The briefings are an opportunity for the public to meet the ONPA's fraud investigators and learn more about the investigative process and how the investigators handle the fraud tips and complaints it receives from the public. The briefings are given to government employees, schools and the general public and include discussion about the internal functions of ONPA and the manner in which they perform their duties and responsibilities. According to the National Public Auditor Haser Hainrick, "The role of ONPA has been refocused from a reactive to a proactive approach."

Early this year, the Compliance Investigation Division (CID) completed eight briefings in Kosrae during a three day period. 180 participants attended the briefings in Kosrae. From July 6-10, 2009 CID conducted nine briefings in the State of Yap where they had 144 participants. The YAP briefings were attended by Governor Sebastian Anefal, Lt. Governor Anthony Tareg, cabinet members and representatives from the Legislature as well as by students, government employees, and other citizens. The majority of the participants rated the presentation valuable and recommended that it be conducted periodically.

As stated by Chief Investigator Sophia Pretrick, "Prevention is the primary theme of our program, it starts with education and that is in part the purpose of conducting the program and sharing our concerns with the public." ONPA's CID is in the process of planning and coordinating the next round of the briefings which will be held in Chuuk, Pohnpei and then to National Government employees.

The public is encouraged to contact the ONPA's Fraud Hotline at 320-6768 or through the web site www.fsmopa.fm/hotline/complaint.htm if they suspect fraud has occurred. Your identity will remain confidential.


For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356
e-mail: fsmpio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmpio.fm/