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Reporting Fraud

What do I do if I suspect fraud, theft, waste or abuse?

Any JMU employee or citizen of the Commonwealth may anonymously report suspicious activities to the State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline (1-800-723-1615), maintained by the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG).  Audit and Management Services may be required to investigate these activities and report findings to the OSIG.  For more information on how to report waste, fraud and abuse see the OSIG website.

According to University Policy 1603, employees are required to immediately notify the Director of Audit and Management Services of circumstances which suggest that a fraudulent transaction has occurred.  Fraudulent transactions can include, but are not limited to, the following prohibited acts:

  • misappropriation of cash or funds with falsification of documents
  • unauthorized use of University property and resources
  • falsifying entries to payroll and travel records
  • charging personal purchases to the University
  • unauthorized use of employees or employees' time

Upon notification of a possible fraud, the Director of Audit and Management Services will inform the appropriate Vice President and the President.  Audit and Management Services will then complete a review to determine if there is a reasonable possibility that a fraud has occurred.  If we conclude that reasonable possibility of fraud exists, we will prepare a letter for the President's signature reporting the possible fraudulent transaction to the Auditor of Public Accounts, the State Inspector General, and the Superintendent of State Police in accordance with Section 30.138.A of The Code of Virginia.  We may also consult with JMU Public Safety.  Further investigation of the possible fraud, with the objective of prosecution, is the responsibility of Public Safety, and the appropriate Commonwealth attorney.

Whistle Blower Protection Act

As an employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, each of us is expected to make significant contributions related to the specific job we were hired to perform while promoting the highest level of ethics and principles in state government. If you have observed fraud, waste or corruption in a state agency, the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) wants to hear from you. In addition, we request that you complete a short survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OSIG_Whistle_Blower_Survey to help us identify ways to improve the Whistle Blower Program. Please complete the survey by March 20, 2017.

Not just for state employees anymore

Originally only applicable to employees of state government, the Whistle Blower Protection Act of 2009 now pertains to all citizens of the Commonwealth who make “good faith reports” of instances of fraud, waste, or corruption committed by state agencies or independent contractors of state agencies.

 What qualifies as fraud, waste or corruption?

An act of fraud is a violation of state or federal law, or a violation of a formally adopted code of conduct or ethics that protects the interest of the public or employees. Waste and corruption involve excessive or improper use, including the extravagant or excessive use of an individual's position or authority, or the use of something in a manner contrary to its natural or legal use.

 What is meant by a good faith report of wrongdoing or abuse?

A good faith report of wrongdoing or abuse is a report made truthfully and in good conscience, without ill intent or malice, and with supportive evidence that a wrongdoing, fraud, and/or abuse has occurred.

 Wait, there’s a reward, too?

In addition to strengthening state government, a claim with the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund may result in compensation to those who report fraud, waste or corruption. Any Commonwealth citizen or state employee who discloses information that leads to a recovery of at least $5,000 may file a claim under the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund. The reward may be up to 10 percent of the actual recovered sum resulting from the disclosure of the wrongdoing or abuse.

 Is a whistle blower protected from retaliation?

A whistle blower who makes a good faith report of wrongdoing, fraud, and/or abuse is protected under § 2.2-3011 of the Whistle Blower Protection Act (WBPA). Any reckless disclosures or disclosures the employee or citizen knew or should have known were false, confidential by law, or made with malicious intent are not deemed good faith reports and are not protected.

Ÿ  State Employee Protections

Ÿ  No employer may discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a whistle blower, whether acting individually or under the direction of another individual.

Ÿ  No employer may discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a whistle blower who is requested or subpoenaed by an appropriate authority to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry.

Ÿ  Nothing shall prohibit an employer from disciplining or discharging a whistle blower who is guilty of misconduct or violation of criminal law.

Ÿ  Any whistle blower covered by the state grievance procedure may initiate a grievance alleging retaliation for reporting wrongdoing, fraud, and/or abuse through the WBPA program and may request relief throughout that procedure.

Ÿ  Commonwealth Citizen Protections

A state agency may not threaten or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a citizen whistle blower because the whistle blower is requested or subpoenaed by an appropriate authority to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry.

 What are the reporting requirements under the Whistle Blower Protection Act?

To be covered by the Whistle Blower Protection Act — and to potentially be eligible for compensation under the Whistle Blower Reward Fund — a citizen or state employee must publicly report evidence of fraud, waste, or abuse by a state agency.  Individuals should know that anonymity and confidentiality are not guaranteed when filing a claim under the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund.

 Individuals who wish to remain anonymous may choose to report information to the State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline instead.

How does someone make an allegation?

Making a good faith report is easy and can be done by contacting the Office of the State Inspector General one of five ways:

  1. Calling (800) 723-1615 (toll-free within Virginia) and stating you are calling under the Whistle Blower Protection Act.
  2. Sending a fax to (804) 371-0165
  3. Sending an email to covhotline@osig.virginia.gov
  4. Completing and submitting the web form at the Whistle Blower Program page
  5. Mailing correspondence via United States Postal Service to:
Office of the State Inspector General
Attention: Whistle Blower Protection
Post Office Box 1151
Richmond, VA 23218

 For more information, call OSIG at 804-625-3268 or visit OSIG’s website at the Whistle Blower Program page.