Philadelphia would offer financial incentives for whistleblowers who reveal contractors who are cheating the city, under legislation proposed in City Council yesterday.
Councilman William Greenlee's bill would set up a system mirroring the federal False Claims Act, which authorizes individuals to file complaints against contractors who are defrauding the city and allows them to collect 10 percent to 30 percent of the proceeds.
The bill affords whistleblower protection to anyone who is fired or harassed on the job for reporting false claims, which could range from claims of property damage to personal injury claims.
"The ultimate goal is to cut down on fraud in the city of Philadelphia," Greenlee said. Similar laws are in place in New York City, Washington, and Chicago. The bill will be scheduled for hearing.
In other business:
Council returned to committee a bill that would charge a fee for plastic and other disposable shopping bags. Sponsor Frank DiCicco said several Council members wanted futher consideration of the issue, including a ban on plastic bags.
Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell proposed a bill that would allow "multi-seat pedalcycles" that would operate between the Philadelphia Zoo and areas of Fairmount Park including the Please Touch Museum. The pedalcycles feature a bicycle that pulls a two-wheeled carriage. There will be a hearing on this plan on Thursday and the pedalcycles could be in use this summer.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez said she would hold for another week a bill that would force the Nutter administration to restore the wages of about 25 security guards at city-funded homeless shelters. "The mayor asked me to hold it for a week so that they can review other contractual impacts to the legislation," Sánchez said. "In my attempt to work with the administration and review the budget impact, I agreed."