Internal Audit is available to receive and/or discuss University employee assertions of employee misconduct. Misconduct may be defined as:
- Improper Governmental Action – including gross waste of public resources, abuse of position or authority, and violation of policy or procedure
- Fraud – including loss of funds or property, misappropriation, suspected or known irregularities
- Ethical Misconduct
All state employees are responsible to be proper stewards of state resources. Employees who believe there has been an instance of employee misconduct have a responsibility to report the activity. There are several avenues available for employees to report such activity.
As described at State Whistleblower Act, if an employee is concerned about potential workplace reprisals in the event of filing a complaint, it is advised to file a complaint through the whistleblower program process.
Employees may also file a complaint with Internal Audit for any of the suspected improper conduct described above. If an employee is unsure if an activity constitutes improper conduct, he/she is strongly advised to contact Internal Audit prior to filing a claim. Discussing the issue with Internal Audit in order to determine whether there is a violation does not automatically initiate an investigation, audit, or contact of supervisors.
When a claim is processed by Internal Audit, a case number is assigned and the following activity is initiated:
- A preliminary inquiry is performed to determine if an irregularity has occurred, the potential magnitude of the activity, the individuals involved, and if evidence is sufficient to support further investigation.
- If there is sufficient evidence, the internal auditor will plan to undertake prompt investigative action. If the report of improper conduct is a loss of funds, property or illegal activity, the internal auditor will coordinate with the State Auditor’s Office any further investigation.
- A memo of engagement is prepared and sent to the appropriate University officials when it is determined an investigation is necessary. This memo is a notice of intent to audit and outlines the purpose of the investigation.
- During the investigation, the internal auditor is to be provided full access to examine, copy, and/or remove records or portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets and other storage facilities located on the premises, (see BPPM 30.12).
- At the conclusion of the investigation, a report is issued to the appropriate University officials. If the employee filing the Claim of Misconduct has provided a name and contact, he/she will also receive a copy of the report.
Note that once a report has been issued to appropriate officials, the investigation working papers and the report are public documents and subject to a Public Records Request.
- BPPM 10.20 – Improper Governmental Action (Whistleblower Act)
- RCW 42.40 – State Employee Whistleblower Protection
- Washington State Auditor’s Office
- Whistleblower Program Flyer
- FAQs State Whistleblower Program
- Whistleblower Reporting Form