See our Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.bsa.ca.gov/hotline/faqs
There are many ways to file a complaint.
We do not accept complaints by e-mail, but you may file a complaint online.
You may call our Whistleblower Hotline at (800) 952-5665 to file a complaint by talking to one of the State Auditor's employees. The hotline generally is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you call when the hotline is not being staffed, or staff is occupied with other calls, you may leave a voicemail message requesting a returncall.
By Mail or Facsimile
You may file a complaint in the form of a letter to the State Auditor addressed as follows:
Investigations California State Auditor
P.O. Box 1019
Sacramento, CA 95812
You may fax the letter to the State Auditor at (916) 322-2603. As an alternative, you may complete the electronic version of our complaint form at http://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/other/adm-105.pdf. Print it out, and return it by mail or facsimile as stated above.
Complaints Regarding State Auditor Employees
Complaints alleging improper governmental activities by employees of the California State Auditor's Office are investigated by an independent investigator selected by the Department of Justice. You may file a complaint:
- Electronically: Online Complaint Form
- By Telephone: (619) 738-9525
- By Mail:
State Auditor Whistleblower
Attention: Chris Knudsen, Senior Assistant Attorney General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
- By Email: StateAuditor@doj.ca.gov
Some best practices when filing a complaint include:
- A clear and concise statement of what you are alleging is an improper act, why you believe it is improper, and what evidence there is to confirm that what you are saying is true.
- Provide a name, department of employment, or other information that clearly identifies the person you are alleging to have acted improperly.
- Identify witnesses or documents that will support what you are saying.
- A complaint may be submitted anonymously, but it is more helpful if you are available to be interviewed by investigators to support your claims.
- Submit copies of any documents that will support your complaint. Documents cannot be returned so copies should be submitted rather than originals. If we need the original documents we will ask you for them later.
What can be investigated?
An "improper governmental activity" is defined as any action by a state agency or any action by a state employee directly related to state government that violates any of the following:
- The law
- An Executive Order of the Governor
- A rule of court
- The State Administrative Manual or State Contracting Manual; or is,
- Economically wasteful, involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.
Before launching an investigation, the State Auditor's staff will conduct a careful evaluation of the complaint to determine whether it has enough potential merit to warrant the expenditure of state resources to conduct an investigation.
Complaints received by the State Auditor are confidential. The identity of the complainant may not be revealed without their permission except to an appropriate law enforcement agency conducting a criminal investigation.
Any investigation resulting from the complaint is confidential. The State Auditor's staff cannot provide any updates about what is being done to investigate the complaint or what information has been uncovered. Information about the investigation will not be released unless the State Auditor substantiates that an improper activity has occurred and issues a public report about it.
State employees who file a complaint are entitled to protection against retaliation by their employers for filing the complaint.
About the Whistleblower Protection Act
The California Whistleblower Protection Act authorizes the California State Auditor to receive complaints from state employees and members of the public who wish to report improper governmental activity.