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Whistleblower Policies and Procedures Whistleblower Hotline

The University has a responsibility to conduct its affairs ethically and in compliance with the law. If you suspect that the University or a particular UC employee is engaged in improper governmental activities, you should know that UC has policies that can show you how to "blow the whistle" and can protect you from retaliation if the need arises.

UC Whistleblower Hotline Image

 (800) 403-4744

  universityofcalifornia.edu/hotline

What can be reported?

Any activity undertaken by the University or by an employee of the University that is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of his or her employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of University property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of University property and facilities, or willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, gross incompetence, or gross inefficiency.  In general, these actions are referred to as “improper governmental activities.”

Who can report?
Any person (staff, faculty, student, general public) may report allegations of suspected improper governmental activities (as defined above).
Where to file a report?

Oral or written reports may be directed to any of the following:

Acting Campus Locally Designated Official (LDO)

Pamela Lombardo
Administrative Services
4129 Cheadle Hall
(805) 893-8291 
 

Whistleblower Coordinator (805) 893-4080; or

Investigative units (e.g. Academic Personnel, Audit and Advisory Services, Human Resources, Office of ResearchSexual Harassment Complaint/Title IX Officer and UCSB Police); or

Other appropriate administrators (e.g. Vice Chancellors and Deans); or

An immediate supervisor or other appropriate administrator or supervisor within the operating unit (such as the unit head); or

Off-Campus

UC Whistleblower Hotline 800-403-4744 (oral only)

Note: This service, operated independently of the University and the campus, assures anonymity, assigns a case number to each caller, and acts as an intermediary for the institution.  Anonymous callers may receive information about the disposition of their report by making subsequent hotline inquiries using the assigned case number.

State Auditor or State Auditor Hotline 800-952-5665

Investigations:  Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Note: Under the law, the State Auditor is prohibited from disclosing the identity of a whistleblower unless he or she obtains the whistleblower’s permission to do so, or when the disclosure is to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a criminal investigation.

Reports by members of the public.
The University recommends that persons who are not University employees report allegations to the Locally Designated Official.  Alternately, such reports may be made to another University official whom the reporting person may reasonably expect to have 1) responsibility over the affected area or 2) the authority to review the alleged improper governmental activity on behalf of the University.
What information should the report include?

Reports are encouraged to be made in writing to assure a clear understanding of the issues raised, however they may be made orally.  Such reports should be factual rather than speculative or conclusory, and contain as much specific information as possible to allow for proper assessment of the nature, extent and urgency of preliminary investigative procedures.
Providing the following information regarding each allegation is most useful; however, answers to all these questions are not required to file a whistleblower report. 

  1. WHAT?  What is the alleged improper activity? Do any documents exist that would provide evidence of the improper activities?  Where are the documents located?  Who controls them?
  2. WHO?  Who are the subjects of the allegation? Who else do you believe is involved -- complete names and work location?  If you believe an organization is involved, who are the contact people?  Do the subjects of the complaint know about this report? Can anyone else corroborate the improper activities being reported and how can they be contacted?
  3. WHERE?  Where is the alleged improper activity occurring?
  4. WHEN?  When did the alleged improper activity occur?  Is it ongoing?  How frequently has it occurred?
  5. HOW?  How did you become aware of the alleged improper activity?  How did the subject carry out the activity? 
In providing information, the whistleblower is not to conduct any investigative procedures or obtain evidence for which he or she does not have a right of access.  Doing so may constitute a violation of law or University policy. 
Anonymous reports.

Whistleblower reports may be made anonymously.  Anonymous whistleblowers must provide sufficient corroborating evidence to justify the commencement of an investigation.  Because of the inability of investigators to interview anonymous whistleblowers, it may be more difficult to evaluate the allegations and, therefore, less likely to cause an investigation to be initiated. Anonymous reports can be made by phone to the following:

UC Whistleblower Hotline 800-403-4744 (oral only)

Note: This service, operated independently of the University and the campus, assures anonymity, assigns a case number to each caller, and acts as an intermediary for the institution.  Anonymous callers may receive information about the disposition of their report by making subsequent hotline inquiries using the assigned case number.

State Auditor or State Auditor Hotline 800-952-5665

Investigations:  Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Note: Under the law, the State Auditor is prohibited from disclosing the identity of a whistleblower unless he or she obtains the whistleblower’s permission to do so, or when the disclosure is to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a criminal investigation.

 

Office of the Ombuds.
If an individual is unsure of whether or not to report, he or she may contact the Office of the Ombuds to discuss the matter confidentially.   The Office of the Ombuds is not required to report the matter pursuant to this policy. Therefore, discussing an issue with the Office of the Ombuds does not constitute formal notice to the University.  Office of the Ombuds, 1205-K Girvetz Hall, 893-3285.
Will I be informed of the outcome of my report?
Whistleblowers generally have the right to be informed of the disposition of a disclosure and the findings of any investigation, although there might be overriding legal or public interest reasons not to do so. However, any action taken against an employee as a consequence of the findings of the investigation may be personal and confidential, in which case, it cannot be disclosed.
Why might my allegations not be investigated?
Sometimes employees blow the whistle about things that are not improper governmental activities, but are personnel, labor relations or management issues. The preliminary investigation assesses whether or not there appears to be an improper governmental activity. However, just because an investigation is not launched does nor mean that the complaint will not be looked into by management. Your report might be referred to Human Resources or some other office for review and appropriate follow-up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Last Modified April 5, 2012

 

 

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