WHAT TO REPORT
Pursuant to Government Code section 8547.2, subdivision (c), improper acts by a state
agency or employee that should be reported to the State Auditor include:
- Violations of state or federal law, including theft, fraud, or conflict of interest;
- Noncompliance with an executive order, Rule of Court, the State Administrative Manual, or the State Contracting Manual;
- Misuse or waste of state resources, including property or employee time;
- Gross misconduct, incompetence, or inefficiency.
WHAT WE CAN'T INVESTIGATE
We do not have the authority to investigate either violations of internal department policies or procedures or local government agencies and employees.
WE PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
If you report an impropriety, you are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act, which:
- Requires us to protect your identity (except from law enforcement);
- Prohibits retaliation, intimidation, threats, or coercion by state employees that could interfere with your right to disclose improper governmental activities.
If you believe that you have been retaliated against for disclosing an improper governmental activity, you should report this immediately to one of the following agencies:
State and Court Employees
State Personnel Board
801 Capitol Mall, MS53
Sacramento, CA 95814
California State University Employees
Vice Chancellor of Human Resources
310 Golden Shore, Room 115
Long Beach, CA 90802
Or contact the appointed campus administrator.
University of California (UC) Employees
Contact the locally designated official for the UC facility at which you are employed. Visit www.ucop.edu for more information.
YOU CAN REPORT IMPROPER ACTS
We are your confidential avenue for reporting improper activities by state agencies or employees. It is your responsibility, as a government employee, to report any type of fraud, waste, or abuse, which ultimately protects scarce state resources. It is also your right to be free from retaliation for doing so.
In 2022, we received 1,075 whistleblower allegations, most of which concerned the waste of state funds, misuse of state resources, improper contracting, and time and attendance abuse. Whistleblower complaints through our office have triggered investigations revealing $585 million in improper spending, such as:
- Officials at a state agency wasted nearly $114,000 in public funds when they placed and kept an analyst on Administrative Time Off for approximately 20 months when she could have continued working during much of that time.
- Human resources staff did not account for an employee’s absences totaling 600 hours, which resulted in an overpayment to the employee of more than $38,000.
- A supervisor who oversaw and controlled access to several state vehicles repeatedly misused one of the state vehicles for his daily commute, causing the State to incur nearly $11,000 in vehicle costs.
WE INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS
We report substantiated allegations to the head of the employing agency, the Legislature, and the Governor. In addition, we report some of the substantiated allegations to the general public, keeping confidential the identities of the state employees involved. You can view these reports on our website at:
We refer substantiated violations of law to law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.
HELPFUL TIPS WHEN FILING A COMPLAINT
Prepare Before Filing
Gather your thoughts before filing a complaint and prepare yourself to answer the following questions:
Support What You Allege
We are unable to investigate allegations without support for your complaint. Therefore, please remember to include the following:
Consider Providing Contact Information
You have a right to file a complaint anonymously. However, we may not be able to investigate your complaint if we cannot talk to you to confirm the information you are providing or obtain additional information. Please remember that if you identify yourself to us, we cannot reveal your identity to anyone else without your permission, except to appropriate law enforcement personnel who are conducting a criminal investigation.
Keep Your Complaint Confidential
We investigate complaints as confidentially as possible to protect both your identity as a whistleblower and our ability to gather information without interference. To protect the confidentiality of your complaint, we encourage you not to tell anyone that you filed a complaint with us.