The next time sharp-eyed citizens in Philadelphia see waste, fraud or abuse in their local government, they can report it directly to the city controller with an app.
Called Philly Watchdog, the app offered gratis for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad in iTunes has been available since April 12 but officially launched yesterday.
“When it comes to reporting fraud and waste in Philadelphia, I’m proud to say that ‘we now have an app for that,'” said City Controller Alan Butkovitz, at a press conference. “Like any investigative unit of government, we often rely on the public to help us identify waste and fraud in city government. It is critically important for government to be on the same technological page as our citizens.”
Philly politicos are billing it as the first app in the nation to “that focuses on reporting fraudulent incidents directly to a government entity,” but it’s part of the growing trend of smartphone apps that report “suspicious activity” or crimes directly to the authorities or ones that allow citizens to report potholes and graffiti.
For people who don’t have iDevices, the city government also offers a hotline as well as an online form. Through it, they claim that city controller has “made over $500 million in recommendations to save Philadelphia money.”