The University Internal Auditor has been designated to receive formal whistleblower complaints (allegations of government misconduct) from employees and applicants for employment 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. 929 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 applicant for employment may make a protected disclosure to the University Internal Auditor no later than thirty (30) days after the event giving rise to the protected disclosure or no later than thirty (30) days after the employee or applicant for employment knew or reasonably should have known of the event.
The protected disclosure shall be in writing, preferably on the campus Whistleblower Intake form that is available upon request at the University Internal Auditor office. 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 position applied for if the complainant was an applicant for employment.
- 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 or the condition developed.
- 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.
- Upon receipt of a protected disclosure complying with the provisions of this procedure, the University Internal Auditor will review the protected disclosure and determine whether the complaint has been properly filed under this procedure.
- When the University Internal Auditor finds that a complaint filed under this procedure does not meet the criteria of a Protected Disclosure of Improper Governmental Activities, the complainant shall be advised of alternative administrative dispute resolution options, i.e., grievance procedures under the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, Student Grievance Procedures, etc.
- Individual employee grievances and complaints regarding terms and conditions of employment will continue to be governed and reviewed under the applicable collective bargaining agreements or university policies and procedures.
- Complaints of sexual harassment and/or discrimination shall be handled under the relevant provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement for represented employees and/or applicable Cal State LA policies, by the office of the Title IX Coordinator in the Human Resources Management Department.
- Upon receipt of a written complaint, 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 determining whether an investigation is warranted. 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 receipt of the protected disclosure, the president shall issue a written response to the complainant that includes whether the allegations were sustained and what, if any, actions were taken. Care shall be taken to protect the privacy interests of those involved.
- The president will notify the vice chancellor for human resources, the California Department of Finance, Office of State Audits and Evaluation, and the Bureau of State Audits about all cases of actual or suspected fraud, theft, or other irregularity.
- These notification requirements are unrelated to the provisions of a separate CSU policy, which requires campuses to forward a copy of all grievances and complaints filed at the campus to CSU Employee Relations or Labor Relations, as appropriate, for the purpose of inputting and tracking them in a database.
- 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.