Report I99-1 Summary - March 1999

Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees


July 1, 1998, Through January 31, 1999


The Bureau of State Audits (bureau) administers the Reporting of Improper Governmental Activities Act (act) contained in the California Government Code, beginning in Section 8547. The act defines "improper governmental activity" as any action by a state agency or state employee during the performance of official duties that violates any state or federal law or regulation; that is economically wasteful; or that involves gross misconduct, incompetence, or inefficiency. The bureau receives and investigates complaints of improper governmental activities. To enable state employees and the public to report these activities, the state auditor maintains the toll-free Whistleblower Hotline (hotline). The hotline number is (800) 952-5665.

This report details the results of the five investigations completed by the bureau and other agencies between July 1, 1998, and January 31, 1999, that substantiated complaints. Following are examples of the substantiated improper activities:

Department of General Services

State Allocation Board

Department of Industrial Relations

Department of Rehabilitation

A vocational rehabilitation counselor engaged in the following improper activities:

Office of the State Public Defender

Board of Court Reporters

This report also summarizes actions taken by entities as a result of investigations presented here or reported previously by the state auditor.

If, after investigating any allegations, the state auditor determines reasonable evidence exists of improper governmental activity, the bureau confidentially reports the details of the activity to the head of the employing agency or the appropriate appointing authority. The employer or appointing authority is required to notify the state auditor of any corrective action taken, including disciplinary action, no later than 30 days after the date the state auditor transmits the confidential investigative report. If employers or appointing authorities do not complete the corrective actions within 30 days, they must report to the state auditor monthly until they do so.

Appendix A contains statistics on the complaints received by the bureau between July 1, 1998, and January 31, 1999, and summarizes our actions on those or other complaints pending as of July 1, 1998. It also provides information on the cost of improper activities substantiated since 1993 and the corrective actions taken as a result of our investigations.

Appendix B details the laws, regulations, and policies that govern the improper activities discussed in this report.