June 23, 2016
The University of California is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct in the fulfillment of its education, research, public service and patient care mission. The University’s Whistleblower Policy provides multiple avenues for employees to bring forward concerns of potential employee misconduct. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring forward concerns about possible improper governmental activity directly to their supervisor, department head, Locally Designated Official (LDO) or other appropriate university offices or officials.
The University established a systemwide independently-operated whistleblower hotline to allow for calls or web-based reporting from faculty, staff and students with a provision for anonymous reporting. The hotline relays the reported concerns to appropriate university officials for processing. This hotline is staffed seven days a week, 24 hours per day and is capable of receiving reports in a number of different languages.
The toll-free number is 1-800-403-4744. Web-based reports can be made by accessing http://universityofcalifornia.edu/hotline. A direct email to the UC San Diego Local Designated Official may also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the whistleblower process can be found on the UC Whistleblower website, UCSD Blink, and on posters displayed in various employee areas. The University’s whistleblower poster identifies other channels for reporting improper governmental activity, including the California State Auditor, the California Attorney General and locations for reporting fraud and abuse involving federal programs.
The California Government Code requires every state agency, including the University of California, to annually distribute to its employees a message from the California State Auditor that provides an explanation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Please find the 2016 message below.
Message from the California State Auditor:
The California State Auditor’s Office is your confidential avenue for reporting improper activities by state agencies or employees. It is your responsibility, as a government employee, to report any type of fraud, waste, or abuse, which ultimately protects scarce state resources, and to be free from retaliation for doing so.
In 2015 alone, we received 1,910 allegations of wrongdoing from state employees and members of the public, most of which concerned misuse of state property, improper travel expenditures, and time and attendance abuse. Whistleblower complaints have triggered investigations revealing millions of dollars in wasteful spending in recent years, such as:
* A state department wasted at least $3.2 million in state funds and
improperly paid $1.6 million in advance payments when it improperly used
a master agreement to upgrade an electrical infrastructure within its
facilities beginning in 2011.
WHAT TO REPORT
Pursuant to Government Code section 8547.2, subdivision (c), improper acts by a state agency or employee that should be reported to the State Auditor include:
* Violations of state or federal law, including theft, fraud, or
conflict of interest;
We do not have the authority to investigate violations of internal department policies or procedures.
WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE PROTECTED
If you report an impropriety, you are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act, which:
* Requires us to protect your identity (except from law enforcement);
If you believe that you have been retaliated against for disclosing an improper governmental activity, you should report this immediately to one of the following agencies:
State and court employees
California State University employees
University of California (UC) employees
HOW TO REPORT
You have three ways to report information to us confidentially:
Call the Whistleblower Hotline at:
(Note: The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, callers may leave a brief recorded message during other hours.)
Mail information to:
Submit a complaint online to:
HELPFUL TIPS WHEN FILING A COMPLAINT
• Prepare Before Filing. Before we can investigate your complaint, we must understand what you are alleging. We have found that complainants are more effective in communicating with us if they gather their thoughts before filing a complaint and prepare themselves to answer the following questions: What is the improper activity? Who acted improperly? Where does that person work? How can we prove your allegation is true? Why do you think the activity is improper?
• Support What You Allege. To open an investigation regarding your complaint, we need to know that evidence exists to support what you are alleging. So when you file a complaint, it is very important that you describe the evidence that proves what you are saying and that you give us the names and telephone numbers of knowledgeable witnesses. It also is very helpful for you to provide us with copies of any documents you have in your possession that will support what you are saying. Please do not submit original documents, as they cannot be returned.
• Consider Providing Contact Information. You have a right to file a complaint without providing your name or any other information about who you are and how we may contact you. However, we may not be able to investigate your complaint if we cannot talk to you to confirm the information you are providing or obtain additional information. Please remember that if you identify yourself to us, we will not reveal your identity to anyone else without your permission, except to appropriate law enforcement personnel who are conducting a criminal investigation.
• Keep Your Complaint Confidential. We investigate complaints as confidentially as possible to protect both your identity as a whistleblower and our ability to gather information without interference. To protect the confidentiality of your complaint, we encourage you not to tell anyone that you filed a complaint with us.
INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS
We investigate complaints and report substantiated allegations to the head of the employing agency, the Legislature, and the Governor. In addition, some of the substantiated allegations will be reported to the general public, keeping confidential the identities of the state employees involved. These reports may be viewed on our website at www.auditor.ca.gov/reports. Substantiated violations of law will be referred to law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.