Whistle blowers get new horn in California

In yet another modification to California’s transparency Web site, Governor Schwarzenegger announced a new feature that will allow government employees to anonymously report cases of fraud or abuse.

Administration officials will monitor the site, dubbed “Waste Watchers“, and investigate claims submitted by state employees or other Californians.

“With this new Waste Watchers feature, I am asking those on the front lines of state government to report any waste they may see,” Governor Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “The knowledge of Californians who work in and around state government is a critical component to ensuring that we are operating efficiently and people are getting the most for their tax dollars.”

Last week, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed an executive order alongside California CIO Teri Tekai that requires all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more to be posted online by June 19. The order also requires internal and external audits of state departments and agencies to be posted online, dating back to January 1, 2008.

Waste Watchers comes from a reader’s suggestion during a Sacramento Bee editorial board meeting, the Governor’s office said. Although the site is open to all Californians, state employees are more likely to visit and use the site most. It’s hoped that they will use it to report waste, but also to propose new efficiency measures.