These procedures support CWUP 2-40-050 Ethics in Public Service. Refer to CWUP 2-40-230 Whistleblower Act and CWUR 1-50-010 Whistleblower Complaints for specific contact information for the Office of the State Auditor and those designated to receive Whistleblower complaints at CWU.
(1) Consultation – Faced with a question of ethics, employees are encouraged to discuss the issue with their supervisor, department chair, dean, and/or appointing authority. The executive director of human resources (HR) is designated as the university’s ethics advisor and may be contacted. Since the individual employee is responsible for ethical compliance, the CWU ethics advisor does not approve or disprove decisions or actions. Those who consult with the CWU ethics advisor can expect to engage in discussion about the situation, relevant criteria, laws, and regulations, and/or referral to other resources that may be available to assist in determining a proper course of action.
(2) Documentation – Employees and supervisors are encouraged to document the process used to determine the course of action taken as a result of a question of ethics. Documentation may include a complete description of the situation, the people, agencies, and/or websites that were consulted, as well as the rationale for the final decision.
(3) Internal Complaint – If a university employee does not wish to file a Whistleblower complaint through the State Auditor’s Office, they may disclose assertions of improper governmental actions to:
The Whistleblower Act does not apply to communications between university employees and HR. Instead, HR provides an additional venue for employees to disclose concerns. To the extent permissible, HR handles all information received in a confidential manner.
(4) Investigation – HR will analyze the complaint and develop a course of action to investigate and resolve the issue. Investigations are performed independently and objectively through interviews and reviewing relevant documents and other evidence. HR documents the investigation procedures and results in working papers.
(5) Retaliation Prohibited – The goal of this process is to create an opportunity where employees can, in good faith, report problems without fear of retaliation. Those who report improper governmental actions and believe they have been subjected to retaliation as a result of this report, should contact the Executive Director of HR (contact information above).
(6) Information and Training – Through HR, new university employees will be provided a summary of the Washington State Ethics Law and specific procedures for reporting improper governmental actions. HR will include workshops on the Washington State Ethics Law as part of the regular training calendar. This workshop will also be included as a requirement of the Supervisory Enrichment Program. Annually, in January, the Executive Director of HR will notify all CWU employees of contacts, procedures, and processes related to the Whistleblower Act.
[Responsibility: President’s Office; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 1/6/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]