State law provides University employees an alternative way to report improper governmental actions to the State Auditor's Office. Employees who use this process are protected from retaliation. The Whistleblower act is codified in Chapter 42.40 of the Revised Code of Washington. Procedures for reporting improper governmental actions are in Administrative Policy Statement 47.1
"Improper governmental action" means any official action which:
- Is a gross waste of public funds or resources; or
- Is in violation of federal or state law or rule if the violation is not merely technical or of a minimum nature; or
- Is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or
- Is a gross mismanagement of funds; or
- Prevents the dissemination of scientific opinion or alters technical findings without scientifically valid justification, unless state law or a common law privilege prohibits disclosure.
Improper governmental action does not include personnel actions for which other remedies exist, including, but not limited to, employee grievances, complaints, transfers, reassignments, demotions, alleged labor agreement violations, claims of discrimination, and related complaints.
To qualify for the protections of the Whistleblower Act, assertions of improper governmental action must be filed in writing with the State Auditor or the following designated University officials:
- Chancellor, University of Washington, Bothell
- Chancellor, University of Washington, Tacoma
- Vice President for Human Resources
- Chief Compliance Officer, UW Medicine/ Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs
- Executive Director, Internal Audit
3. Sources of Guidance and Support