11.00 Whistleblower

(Approved August 13, 2010)

This policy is intended to encourage Executive Committee members, staff (paid and volunteer) and others to report suspected or actual occurrence(s) of illegal, unethical or inappropriate events (behaviors or practices) without retribution.

If an Executive Committee member violates or thinks he or she has violated any legal, or serious ethical provision of the Executive Committee Code of Ethics, or if an Executive Committee member observes, learns of, or in good faith believes it is possible that another Executive Committee member has violated any such provision, that Executive Committee must immediately report the actual or suspected violation to an appropriate individual in the Academic Senate (e.g., the President or Executive Director). Reported violations of the Code of Ethics will be investigated, addressed promptly, and treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation.

To assist the Budget and Finance Committee of the Academic Senate, the Senate has established procedures for the receipt and treatment of concerns or complaints from Executive Committee members and others, including confidential, anonymous communications, regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters or perceived deficiencies in internal controls. Executive Committee members with such complaints must report them to the persons specified in the Procedure section below. Reported violations will be investigated, addressed promptly, and treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation.

No one reporting, in good faith, an actual or suspected violation of Academic Senate's policy or other unlawful act will be subject to retaliation of any kind. Retaliation against an individual for reporting in good faith an actual or suspected violation or for participating in an investigation of a violation is a serious act and may be subject to disciplinary action. Persons who knowingly, with intent to retaliate, take any action harmful to a person who reports such violations may also be subject to censure or removal.

    1. Procedure with Respect to Reports of Concerns about Accounting or Auditing Matters, or Internal Controls

      Reporting Concerns: Any Executive Committee member or other person who has a concern or complaint about questionable accounting or auditing matters or perceived deficiencies in internal controls MUST report such concern or complaint to the Executive Director. If the complaint is against the Executive Director, the report should be made to the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. All such reports will be treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation and will carry no risk of retribution if made in good faith. Any member of the Executive Committee who takes any action in retaliation against a person who, in good faith, makes such a report will be subject to removal as determined by the officers or in the case of an officer by the remaining officers. (See the Executive Committee Policies for process for removal of an Executive Committee member.) Nevertheless, any person may, if he or she prefers, make such a report anonymously.

      Oral Communications: The Executive Director, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee or employee designated above who receives an oral communication expressing a concern or complaint regarding accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, shall promptly prepare a memorandum of such communication documenting in the memorandum the dates, times, names of individuals involved, incidents, witnesses, etc. The memorandum shall be promptly delivered to the President.

      Written Communications: The Executive Director, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee or employee designated above who receives an oral or written communication expressing a concern or complaint regarding accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, including anonymous communications, shall promptly deliver to the President (unless he/she already received it) a copy of the memorandum of such oral communication or a copy of such written communication.

      Investigation: The President shall cause such investigation to be made with respect to the subject matter of each communication of a concern or complaint regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, as he or she deems appropriate, and shall provide the Budget and Finance Committee with a written summary reporting the results of such investigation and any action taken or proposed to be taken. However, the President, as he or she deems appropriate, may direct further investigation to be conducted by others, such as counsel or third parties.

      Budget and Finance Committee Review: The Budget and Finance Committee shall (1) review all reports of concerns or complaints regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, and (2) determine what action, if any, should be taken with respect to such reports. The officers will determine if any action against an Executive Committee member is necessary.

      Maintain Records: The Executive Director shall, in such manner as shall be determined by the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, maintain a file of copies of the memoranda and written communications received by the Chair reporting a concern or complaint regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, and a written summary reporting the results of such investigation and any action taken or proposed to be taken. Each such memorandum and communication shall be retained in such file for a period of at least five years.

      State Law: The public policy of the State of California is to encourage individuals to notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency when they have reason to believe an organization is violating laws that protect corporate shareholders, investors, employees, and the general public, and to protect employees who refuse to participate in activities of an employer that would result in a violation of law. Normally, suspected violations should be reported directly to the appropriate state or local agency. In addition, the California Attorney General has established a confidential Whistleblower Hotline at (800) 952-5225 to receive calls regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules or regulations, or violations of fiduciary responsibility by a corporation or limited liability company to its shareholders, investors, or employees.