Fraud, Waste, Abuse Hotline and Other Reports

  • Background

    The District launched the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline Program (Hotline) in 2005 because one of the most critical challenges an organization faces today is preventing loss due to waste, fraud, abuse, or unethical acts. By implementing the Hotline program as a prevention and detection mechanism, the District has taken a proactive stance to help reduce possible losses and/or liability. It is everyone's obligation to report significant instances of fraud, waste, or abuse to the District's administration, either through the Hotline or by contacting any staff member of the Internal Audit Department.

    Purpose

    The Hotline is intended to provide a means for employees, parents, and community members to report concerns of fraud, waste, and/or abuse, to include the ability to make anonymous reports. The Audit Department staff is also available to take any other non- Hotline reports. All information reported should be made in good faith.

    The Hotline is not intended to replace the existing internal reporting structure, rather it is a tool meant to supplement the mechanisms we currently have in place. Everyone who has an issue or concern as it relates to waste, fraud, abuse, or unethical behavior is to report it through the proper channels as specified in our policies. However, if this is not feasible, the Hotline is provided as a communication option. The Hotline is not intended for suggestions, general complaints, grievances, or personnel issues.

    How to Make a Hotline Report

    Visit the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline and follow the directions to make a Hotline report. English/Spanish is available.

    What Happens After a Report is Made

    The Network (vendor/provider for the Hotline) emails all reports to the Internal Audit Department. In addition, depending on the nature of the allegation, the Network will disseminate an incident report to a pre-identified District department (example, sexual harassment, workplace violence). When appropriate, reports will be provided to principals or other administrators for resolution. All information provided on the Hotline will go through a screening process within the Internal Audit Department to decide the appropriate data owner and/or initial actions.

    The Network categorizes calls as non-escalated or escalated (emergency). An escalated report is one that is reporting immediate (or repeating within 24 hours) danger to a person or District property. Escalated reports are immediately forwarded to a pre-identified District contact(s). Non-escalated reports are sent to the Internal Audit Department within 24 hours of the report.

    Upon receiving notification of a non-escalated report through email, the responsible party (data/process owner) should:

    • read the email sent which provides directions;
    • read the report attached to the email noting critical dates and information at the bottom of the report;
    • determine if additional information is needed and contact the caller as appropriate (for anonymous reports, forward questions to Internal Audit so that they can be posted to the caller through the Network's system);
    • contact Internal Audit for questions or support;
    • conduct an investigation;
    • document all actions taken for the record – all reports should be addressed in some fashion;
    • do not attempt to identify the caller;
    • do not share a copy of the report with employees (subject of the report as well as others interviewed) as it could contain information that could lead to the identity of the caller;
    • instruct employees (subject of report or others interviewed) not to attempt to identify the caller and that retaliation is against policy; and
    • report findings and action taken to the Internal Audit Department as they track resolution of all Hotline reports. 

    If an investigation is undertaken and if the allegation is substantiated, corrective action is required to rectify the cause or control weaknesses that allowed the situation to occur. All employees involved in an investigation shall be advised to keep information about the investigation confidential. In most cases, the person initiating the report will not be provided with the details of the final outcome of the investigation.

    If an investigation substantiates that fraud has occurred, the respective department shall notify the Superintendent per Board Policy CAA (Local) so that the Board can be notified. When circumstances warrant, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee, in conjunction with legal counsel, determine to prosecute or refer the investigation results to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or regulatory agency.