RCW 42.40 was enacted to encourage employees of the State of Washington to report improper governmental actions. “Improper governmental action” means any action by an employee that violates state law, abuses authority, wastes public funds or endangers public health or safety.

Any state employee wishing to report suspected improper governmental action must notify the State Auditor. The notification should include a description of the improper action, name of the employee(s) involved, the agency, and any other details necessary to conduct an investigation, including the date and location of the activities in question. For an improper governmental action to be investigated, the report must be provided to the State Auditor within one year of the occurrence of the action. If an employee wishes to be informed of the investigation results, they must include their name, address and telephone number in the notification.

Claims of suspected improper governmental action may be made directly with the State Auditor or with one of WSU’s designated public officials: Chief Auditor Internal Audit, Chancellors of WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver and WSU Everett. The WSU Office of Internal Audit coordinates University whistleblower investigations with the State Auditor’s Office and University administrators.

A whistleblower is entitled to protection from reprisal or retaliatory action. If a whistleblower believes that he or she has been the subject of such action as a result of filing a whistleblower claim or cooperating as a witness during an investigation, the whistleblower (or witness) may file a claim with the Washington Human Rights Commission.

The State of Washington Whistleblower Online Reporting Form and further information may be obtained directly from the State Auditor’s website. University policy related to the State Whistleblower Program may be found at BPPM 10.20, or employees may contact Internal Audit directly at ia.central@wsu.edu.