CWUR 3-20

CWUR 3-20-010 Whistleblower Complaints

A whistleblower is an employee who reports, in good faith, alleged improper governmental action to a "public official.'

It also applies to any employee who is perceived to have made an allegation of improper governmental action (CWUP 2-40-230). The Whistleblower Act (RCW 42.40) includes detailed timelines and provisions to protect a whistleblower. A whistleblower must clearly invoke that protection by clearly identifying, verbally or in writing, the complaint as a “State Whistleblower Report.” Information is available at the State Auditor’s Office website.

Reports of improper governmental action may be submitted anonymously to the Washington State Auditor’s Office:

File a report using the online form at sao.wa.gov.

Submit a printed form by email to whistleblower@sao.wa.gov

Printed forms can be sent by mail at:

Washington State Auditor’s Office
ATTN: State Employee Whistleblower Program
P.O. Box 40031
Olympia, Washington 98504-0031
(360) 902-0370

CWU administrators who are designated to receive reports of improper governmental action that invoke the Whistleblower Act are: 

Jesús Baldovinos, Internal Auditor
509-963-1191
Mailstop: 7481, Jesus.Baldovinos@cwu.edu
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926

A. James Wohlpart, President
509-963-2111
Mailstop: 7501, jim.wohlpart@cwu.edu

Kurt Kirstein, Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
509-963-1400
Mailstop 7503, Kurt.Kirstein@cwu.edu

Joel Klucking, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration
509-963-2956
Mailstop: 7481, joel.klucking@cwu.edu

Andrew Morse, Chief of Staff
509-963-1425
Mailstop: 7501, andrew.morse@cwu.edu 

John MacArthur, Director, Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, and CWU Ethics Advisor
509-963-2050
Mailstop: 7501, john.macarthur2@cwu.edu 

These individuals are obligated to confidentially maintain the identity of the whistleblower and to inform the Internal Auditor.  The Internal Auditor will notify the Washington State Auditor’s Office of whistleblower assertions within 15 calendar days after the complaint was received. 

Confidentiality will be provided to the whistleblower and to any person who in good faith provides information in an investigation. Individuals involved in the investigation of a report made by a whistleblower may consent to disclose their identity. It is the responsibility of all university employees to fully cooperate during an investigation of a report of improper governmental action. Employees will not destroy evidence and will provide any requested and/or relevant information and documentation during the investigation.

Retaliation against a whistleblower or those who provide information during an investigation is prohibited by state law. Employees who feel they have been retaliated against may contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission at (toll free) 1-800-233-3247; TTY: 1-800-300-7525; or visit the Washington State Human Resources Commission website.

CWU employees will be notified annually of the Whistleblower Act, including provisions and protections specific to CWU.

Here are the steps you must take that are critical to whistleblower reports:

Reporting University Employee:

1. a. Communicates an allegation of improper governmental action to a university whistleblower public official verbally or in writing. If in writing, the employee making the complaint must clearly label the information as “State Whistleblower Report.” OR

b. Completes a hardcopy State Whistleblower Reporting Form and either, gives a copy to a University Public Official or sends the form in the U.S. Post Office mail or by email to the State Auditor’s Office.  Reporting University Employee should make a copy of the completed form for their records.  OR

c. Completes an electronic State Whistleblower Reporting Form on the State Auditor’s Office web site and   electronically submits the report.  No further action is required by a University Public Official after this step. 

d. A state employee must report the asserted action within a year of occurrence.

 [Responsibility: President’s Office (until 07/6/16) BFA; Authority: Cabinet/PAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 03/07/2014; 12/11/2018; 01/18/2019; 02/19/2020 Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

CWUR 3-20-020 Reporting Financial Irregularities

Reference: CWUP 2-10-200,

(1)  Faculty and staff should immediately report suspected financial irregularities or other illegal acts to the management head (respective department or division director, dean or chair). The management head shall report the suspected financial irregularity or illegal act to the senior vice president of finance and administration and the university police. Contact information for university police may be found on our Police site.

Prompt reporting is particularly important to facilitate the recovery of assets and the protection of vital records.

(2) Upon notification of the suspected financial irregularity or other related illegal act, the senior vice president of finance and administration (or designee) will immediately provide notification to:

  1. The state auditor’s office via electronic submission of report on the SAO website.
  2. The attorney general’s office;
  3. The university’s business services office; and
  4. The appropriate university personnel office.

(3)  The university police will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the reported irregularity is criminal in nature. Cases determined to be committed by a criminal act will be investigated as such and appropriate action taken.

(4) Responsibilities

(A) Faculty and staff

Report any instance of financial irregularity or other related illegal act to your respective management head (department or division director, dean or chair) or to the senior vice president of finance and administration. Employees will be protected in accordance with the provisions of RCW 42.40, state employee whistleblower protection.

(B) Management head

The management head should contact the senior vice president of finance and administration and, to the extent possible, protect any evidence or records from loss or destruction. The management head should not attempt to conduct an investigation nor enter into any recovery settlement.

(C) Senior vice president of finance and administration

The senior vice president of finance and administration will notify the state auditor’s office, the attorney general’s office, the university’s risk management office and will work with the university police department to conduct and evaluate the preliminary investigation.

[Responsibility: F&A; Authority: F&A; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 04/02/2014; 12/23/2022; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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