Frequently Asked Questions
- Anyone may file a complaint
- Every state office, department, division, bureau, board, and commission of state government.
- Any employee of state government, including elected constitutional officers, appointed state officials, state civil service employees, and quasi-public agency employees.
- The APA can investigate private entities such as businesses and nonprofit organizations, or their employees, etc., only if they are considered a large state contractor. By statute, a large state contractor means an entity that has entered into a contract with a state or quasi-public agency, having a value of five million dollars or more.
- Local government agencies and employees, city, and school district employees and officials.
- Federal government agencies and employees, including federal officials.
- Private entities such as businesses and nonprofit organizations, or their employees, if they are not considered a large state contractor, as defined above.
- Allegations of corruption, unethical practices, violation of state or federal law or regulation, mismanagement, gross waste of public funds, abuse of authority or danger to the public safety
- Improper contracting
- Misuse of state property
- Conflicts of interest
- Improper overtime
- Improper expense reimbursements
- False time and attendance reporting by state employees
Do I have to sign my name?
- You have a right to file a complaint without providing us with your name or any other information about who you are and how we may contact you. However, we may not be able to investigate your complaint properly 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 will not reveal your identity to anyone else without your permission, unless we or the Attorney General determines that such disclosure is unavoidable.
There is a space on the complaint form for your name and contact information, but it is not required that you include it.
- We will evaluate your complaint to determine whether it has sufficient merit to warrant an investigation. If we conduct an investigation in response to your complaint, we will perform the investigation confidentially. This means that we will not report to you or anyone else about the progress of the investigation.
- If we need additional information from you, we will contact you.
- We are required by statute to report the results of our investigation to the office of the Attorney General, at which point the investigation may continue.
- The investigation will remain confidential until the investigation is concluded, at which time we may inform you of the investigation results.
- The APA is a reporting entity. Any improper activity that is substantiated will be reported to the proper authority, which would vary based on the specific findings.
- The APA does not have enforcement powers and cannot order a department or official to take any action.
- We will not undertake an investigation unless we have a basis for believing that your complaint has sufficient merit to warrant an investigation. You should therefore include a clear statement of what you believe the improper activity to be, why you believe the activity is improper, who is involved, and what evidence we may examine to validate what you are alleging.
Your complaint should therefore include, but not be limited to:
1) A clear and concise statement of what you are alleging to be improper activity and why you believe it is improper.
2) The name and title of the person/persons you are making the complaint about
3) The agency, division, and location where the action(s) occurred.
4) When the action(s) occurred.
5) The specific state or federal law or state regulation that has been violated.
6) The names and contact information for any witnesses who can confirm the truth of what you are saying.
7) Copies of any documents that will support what you are saying. Please do not submit original documents, as they cannot be returned.
8) Your name and phone number*.
*Complaints may be filed anonymously. However, by including your name and phone number, we can reach you to gather further information that may be necessary for a thorough investigation. In addition, the law provides remedies for individuals subjected to retaliation as a result of their whistleblower activities. All information concerning the identity of a person making a complaint is strictly confidential under state law and will not be released by this office or the Attorney General without the consent of the complainant, unless we or the Attorney General determine that such disclosure is unavoidable.
Each allegation should be noted separately and supported with as much specific information as possible. Proving allegations can often be difficult.
Supplying detailed information contributes to a thorough and efficient investigation. Such information should normally address questions of who, when, where, what, how, and how much.