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Posts Tagged: whistleblower policy

Annual whistleblower policy notification

The University of California is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct in the fulfillment of its education, research, public service and patient care mission. The University's Whistleblower Policy provides multiple avenues for employees to bring forward concerns of potential employee misconduct. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring forward concerns about possible improper governmental activity directly to their supervisor, department head, Locally Designated Official (LDO) or other appropriate university offices or officials.

The university established a systemwide, independently operated whistleblower hotline to receive calls or web-based reporting from faculty, staff, students or members of the public. The hotline allows for anonymous reporting. The hotline relays the reported concerns to appropriate university officials for processing. This hotline is staffed seven days a week, 24 hours per day and is capable of receiving reports in a number of different languages. 

The toll-free number is 1-800-403-4744. Web-based reports can be made by accessing http://universityofcalifornia.edu/hotline. More information about the whistleblower process can be found on the UC Whistleblower website and on posters displayed in various employee areas.

The California Government Code requires every state agency, including the University of California, to annually distribute to its employees a message from the California State Auditor that provides an explanation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Please find the 2020 message and posters attached.

 

 

Posted on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 6:56 PM

UC issues annual whistleblower notification

The University of California is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct in the fulfillment of its education, research, public service and patient care mission. The University's Whistleblower Policy provides multiple avenues for employees to bring forward concerns of potential employee misconduct. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring forward concerns about possible improper governmental activity directly to their supervisor, department head, Locally Designated Official (LDO) or other appropriate university offices or officials.

The university established a systemwide, independently operated whistleblower hotline to receive calls or web-based reporting from faculty, staff, students or members of the public. The hotline allows for anonymous reporting. The hotline relays the reported concerns to appropriate university officials for processing. This hotline is staffed seven days a week, 24 hours per day and is capable of receiving reports in a number of different languages.

The toll-free number is 1-800-403-4744. Web-based reports can be made by accessing http://universityofcalifornia.edu/hotline. More information about the whistleblower process can be found on the UC Whistleblower website and on posters displayed in various employee areas. The University's whistleblower poster identifies other channels for reporting improper governmental activity, including the California State Auditor, the California Attorney General and locations for reporting fraud and abuse involving federal programs.

The California Government Code requires every state agency, including the University of California, to annually distribute to its employees a message from the California State Auditor that provides an explanation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Please see the 2018 message below or in the brochure at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/286804.pdf.

California State Auditor Whistleblower Program

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 2017 alone, we received 2,147 allegations of wrongdoing, most of which concerned misuse of state property, improper travel expenditures, and time and attendance abuse. Whistleblower complaints through our office have triggered investigations revealing more than $576 million in wasteful spending, such as: 

  • Four psychiatrists at a state facility worked significantly fewer than 40 hours per week during a one year period. The cost of their missed work hours totaled $296,000.
  • A state official received $152,000 in improper travel expense reimbursements over a 37-month period.
  • An administrator unwisely entered into two contracts that wasted $652,919 in state managed funds and did not comply with state contracting requirements.

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 www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/investigative

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 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 

401 Golden Shore

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.

HELPFUL TIPS WHEN FILING A COMPLAINT

Prepare Before Filing

Gather your thoughts before filing a complaint and prepare yourself to answer the following questions:

  • What is the improper activity?
  • Who acted improperly?
  • Where does that person work? 
  • How often and for how long has the activity been occurring?
  • Why has it been allowed to continue?

Support What You Allege

We are unable to investigate allegations without support for your complaint. Therefore, please remember to include the following:

  • Description of the evidence that proves what you are saying.
  • Names and telephone numbers of knowledgeable witnesses.
  • Copies of any documents you have in your possession that support your allegation. (Please do not submit original documents, as they cannot be returned.)

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.

We refer substantiated violations of law to law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.

HOW TO REPORT 

You have three ways to report information to us confidentially:

Call the Whistleblower Hotline at: 

800-952-5665 

916-322-2603 (Fax) 

(Note: The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, callers may leave a brief recorded message during other hours.)

Mail information to: 

Investigations 

California State Auditor 

P.O. Box 1019 

Sacramento, CA 95812

Submit a complaint online to: 

http://www.auditor.ca.gov/hotline

To view an informational webinar hosted by CalHR, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WFYLhJDOss.

 

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 2:32 PM
  • Author: Brian Oatman

Thank you, and looking ahead for a great 2017!

Dear Colleagues,

As we wrap up 2016, I want to take a moment to thank you for everything you've done on behalf of UC ANR this year. Whether you are conducting research, organizing extension programs, teaching nutrition, leading volunteers or quietly working behind the scenes to support our various activities, your work makes a huge difference in the lives of all Californians.

In addition to those activities, many of you also took the time to give feedback to the recent strategic planning exercise, gathered to exchange ideas at the Research to Policy conference, or contributed to enhancing the UC ANR mission in many other ways.  A special thanks to the folks who chaired a committee, led a program team or served as county director – having strong, passionate leaders at every level of this organization is what makes us effective.

We are continuing to grow in numbers as hiring outpaces retirements. In 2016, 29 academics joined UC ANR and three more are poised to start in 2017. We also established four new endowed chairs with matching funds from UC President Janet Napolitano, the California Rice Research Board, the California Pistachio Research Board and, recently, the Orange County Farm Bureau. Thanks to the hard work of many stakeholders – both internal and external – we identified 26 academic positions (http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/253192.pdf) for a new round of hiring priorities over the next two years. 

At the request of President Napolitano, we've submitted a five-year plan for UC ANR that will help us operationalize the Strategic Vision 2025 in a very thoughtful and timely manner. The next step is to further develop specific action plans for implementation and ensure the financial stability to support our vision. After the winter break, we will share the plan with the UC ANR community, as well as external stakeholders, and invite additional input as we move forward.

I'm very excited about 2017!  Some great groundwork has been laid this past year to further enhance our ability to deliver the UC ANR mission and enjoy new partnerships. I hope you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the holidays with friends and family and return refreshed to tackle the challenges that await us in the new year.

Happy Holidays!

Glenda

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

 

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

DANRIS-X launches into Project Board with webinar trainings

DANRIS-X has been updated and Project Board will open for 2018 reporting.

DANRIS-X has been updated and will eventually be replaced with the newly created Project Board for UCCE specialists and advisors. When DANRIS-X opens for reporting, users will see a reduced number of data fields and an aesthetic refresh.

Project Board will open for 2018 reporting and will have an improved user experience and simplified data entry. Special thanks to the Project Board Academic Advisory Committee and Project Team for their continued involvement. More information can be found at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/Program_Planning_and_Evaluation/DANRIS-X/.

Upcoming dates and action items:

CE Specialists

  • DANRIS-X opens Jan. 9
  • All CE specialists are invited to the Zoom webinar trainings offered on Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., or Jan. 24, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Topics include an overview of the reporting system, what and why we report, etc.
  • Actions: Complete Annual Report for FY 2016 and Annual Plan for FY 2017 by March 6, 2017, at midnight.

CE Advisors

  • DANRIS-X opens on Feb. 2
  • All CE advisors are invited to the Zoom webinar trainings offered on Feb. 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., or Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Topics include an overview of the reporting system, what and why we report, etc.
  • Actions: Complete Annual Report & CASA for FY 2017 and Annual Plan for FY 2018 by Oct. 30, 2017, at midnight.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Kit Alviz, Program Planning and Evaluation, at kit.alviz@ucop.edu or (510) 987-0027.

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Names in the News

Mary Maffly Ciricillo
Ciricillo named director of Annual Giving

Mary Maffly Ciricillo brings more than 20 years of professional experience to her new role as the director of Annual Giving for UC ANR. She comes to ANR from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, where she was director of Development & Alumni Relations, steward of the Business Partnership Program and point person on building connections, community and involvement of the school's alumni.

Ciricillo has spent the last 10 years in diverse roles at UC Davis, creating and growing programs that help further university goals. She launched UC Davis goClub, the campus alternative and sustainable transportation program. To get goClub rolling, Ciricillo signed on sponsors, built new relationships across campus and the business community, and revved up the marketing plan to encourage campus commuting options, such as carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, bus and train.

Before joining UC Davis, Ciricillo was an account executive in the communications industry, developing branding and marketing solutions. Her clients included The Gap, Oracle, Knight Ridder Newspapers, the San Francisco Ballet and the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley.

She earned a B.A. in history with a minor in business from San Francisco State University.

Based in Davis, Ciricillo can be reached at (530) 750-1302, cell (530) 219-1085 and mciricillo@ucanr.edu.

Glenn County Soil Partnership from left, Dani Lightle, Betsy Karle, Kandi Manhart, RCD executive officer, and Rob Vlach NRCS district conservationist.

Karle and Lightle on team honored for conservation innovation

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and California Association of Resource Conservation Districts presented its prestigious Excellence in Innovation award to the Glenn County Soil Partnership, which includes the Glenn County Resource Conservation District, UC Cooperative Extension in Glenn County and the NRCS field office in Willows.

Betsy Karle, UCCE county director and dairy advisor, and Dani Lightle, UCCE orchard systems advisor, both based in Glenn County, are among the partners working together to promote and encourage healthy soils and greatly increased local interest among farmers. Their goal is to increase awareness of the importance of soil health and to create a forum for farmers to share information and learn from each other. To ensure a locally led process, the partners created a farmer-led Steering and Technical Advisory Committee made up of farmers and local experts.

“Dani Lightle was a key player in the process and she has taken the opportunity to tackle some very interesting questions about cover cropping in orchards,” said Karle. “UCCE specialist Jeff Mitchell has also been a key motivator and has logged hundreds of miles and countless hours to support the effort.”

“Your partnership is bringing back a focus on conservation planning, technical assistance and management change motivated by the desire to enhance the health of the soil resource,” said NRCS state conservationist Carlos Suarez, who presented the award.

“You wisely chose to root your leadership in local farmers and agencies, combining agency and university technical knowledge with private business skills and real world know-how. This makes your partnership credible and inspiring to local farmers who are open to improving the health of their soil.”

“This is the best way to engage our customers in conservation planning that results in regenerative agriculture and ecological benefits,” Suarez said.

The Soil Partnership received the award on Nov. 17 during the 71st annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts' conference in Ontario.

Sabrina Drill
UC CalNat associate director named to national organization board

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor Sabrina Drill has been elected to the board of the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach Service Programs (ANROSP). Drill is associate director of the UC California Naturalist Program.

ANROSP is the national organization in which master naturalist programs from around the country share methods and information to train naturalists, build local and statewide communities, and support their efforts to protect, enhance, understand, and teach the public about each state's unique natural history.

“As a board member, the things I am most keen to work on are strengthening efforts to professionalize participatory citizen science, and build bonds with groups like the new Citizen Science Association and communities of practice like SciStarter,” Drill said. “In addition, I want to build on our individual efforts to increase the demographic diversity of naturalists.”

Drill's role in the national organization will support the continued growth and development of the California Naturalist program, which was established in 2012.

“Working across states, I think we'd like to again see how we might garner national support to grow our programs, and see where we can use nationally developed educational and evaluation tools,” Drill said. “For example, we recently published a paper in Conservation Biology with Virginia Master Naturalist looking at how our training programs enhanced individuals' experiences as citizen scientists, and the opportunity to compare programs was very enlightening. Being an active part of ANROSP leadership can enhance these efforts.”

ANROSP holds a national conference each year in September, where it presents awards in five categories: program of the year, outstanding educational materials, outstanding team, outstanding volunteer project and outstanding program evaluation. In 2015, the UC ANR California Naturalist program was named the “program of the year” by ANROSP

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 1:53 PM
 
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