Whistleblower Complaint Procedures
The University Internal Auditor has been designated to receive formal whistleblower complaints (allegations of government misconduct) from employees and third parties on the campus, to coordinate the assessment of the proper course of action for processing such complaints, and to conduct internal investigations or coordinate investigations conducted for the campus by other internal or external investigators.
This process is established to fulfill the requirements of the California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Executive Order No. 1115 and Section 8547.1 of the Government Code (Whistleblower Protection Act) concerning the Protected Disclosure of Improper Governmental Activities.
Protected Disclosure at Cal State LA
An employee or third party may make a protected disclosure to the University Internal Auditor no later than twelve (12) calendar months after the employee or third party knew or reasonably should have known of the event giving rise to the protected disclosure.
The protected disclosure shall be in writing, preferably on the campus Whistleblower Intake form. Alternatively, the complainant may use any format that conforms to the requirements of this section. The disclosure must include the following information:
- The name and mailing address of the complainant, the complainant's working title, or relationship to Cal State LA if the complainant is a third party.
- A detailed description of the specific actions that constituted the alleged improper governmental activity or condition that may significantly threaten the health and safety of employees or the public, including the names(s) and title(s) of the California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) employee(s) or official(s) allegedly engaged in the improper governmental activity or responsible for the health and safety condition.
- The date(s) the alleged improper activities occurred.
- Other potential witnesses to the alleged improper activities or condition.
- Any documentation that supports the allegations of improper activities or of a threatening condition.
- Descriptions of documents that support the allegations of improper activities or of a threatening condition, if the actual documents are not in the possession of the complainant.
- The protected disclosure must be signed, dated, and contain a sworn statement under penalty of perjury that its contents are believed to be true.
Response to Protected Disclosures Made to the Cal State LA Campus
- Within ten (10) days of receipt of the written protected disclosure, the University Internal Auditor shall send to the complainant a written acknowledgement of receipt.
- The University Internal Auditor shall initiate a "Preliminary Review" of matter if the totality of circumstances suggest reasonable cause to investigate. The complainant shall be notified in writing of the outcome of this review, within thirty (30) working days of the receipt of the complaint. If the results of the Preliminary Review determine that an investigation is warranted, a formal investigation will be initiated. If an investigation will not occur, the University Internal Auditor will inform the Complainant (if known) that the complaint will not be investigated and state the reasons.
- If an investigation is initiated, the University Internal Auditor will mange the investigation. The University Internal Auditor shall consult with the president, vice president for administration and chief financial officer (CFO), university legal counsel, and other individuals as appropriate. In all instances, Cal State LA retains the prerogative to determine when circumstances warrant an investigation and the appropriate investigative process to be employed, including commissioning an external consultant to conduct the investigation. As appropriate, investigations may require consultation and coordination among other campus personnel and departments.
- Upon completion of an investigation, the University Internal Auditor shall report the findings and recommendations to the president with a copy to the vice president for administration and CFO. A determination shall be made as to whether there is reasonable cause to believe that improper governmental activity has occurred, or that a condition which may significantly threaten the health or safety of employees or the public exists.
- The president will determine what actions, if any, are necessary.
- Within ninety (90) days of the conclusion of the Preliminary Review, the University Internal Auditor shall issue a formal response to the complainant that includes a summary of allegations, summary of the investigation, the Preponderance of the Evidence standard, a detailed description of the evidence considered, appropriate findings, an what actions, if any, are anticipated. The response shall be written in a manner that is consistent with the privacy interests of each person who is involved in the situation addressed by the response.
- All time limits refer to working days.
- Time limits set forth in this procedure may be extended in writing by the University Internal Auditor. Written notification of such a change in time limits must be provided to the complainant.
- To the extent possible, and within the limitations of the law and the need to conduct a competent investigation, the confidentiality of the complainant will be maintained. Complaints, responses, and investigations under this procedure shall be shared only with those individuals who have a legitimate business reason to know. Persons accused of government misconduct as well as witnesses in the case will receive only minimal information essential to conduct the investigation. The identity of the complainant will not be provided. Details of the complaint will be revealed only if there is a clear need to know and if there is no danger of negative impact on the integrity of the evidence in the case. Employees who are interviewed during the investigation shall be reminded of the importance of confidentiality of everything related to the investigation.
- To maintain the integrity of the process, the complainant is expected to keep confidential the issues raised in the complaint during the investigation.