UW News

September 25, 2008


Board of Regents

The Board of Regents will hold a regular public meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at UW Tower.

Blood Drives

Fri., Sept. 26, 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., North side of Schmitz Hall

Tues., Sept. 30, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Stevens Way across from Lewis Hall

Summary of the Washington State Whistleblower Act

The “Whistleblower Act” was enacted to encourage employees of the State of Washington to report improper governmental actions. “Improper governmental action” means any action by an employee undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties 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.

In order to be investigated, an assertion of improper governmental action must be provided to the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) or designated University officials within one year after the occurrence of the asserted improper governmental action.

Assertions of improper governmental action must be filed in writing with the SAO or the following designated University officials:

• President

• Provost

• Chancellor, University of Washington, Bothell

• Chancellor, University of Washington, Tacoma

• Vice President, Human Resources

• Associate Vice President/Chief Compliance Officer, UW Medicine

• Executive Director, Internal Audit

• Executive Director, Harborview Medical Center

• Executive Director, University of Washington Medical Center

Telephone calls are not accepted. Assertions can be reported using the Whistleblower Reporting Form or in a separate letter. The Whistleblower Reporting Form is available by contacting the SAO at 360-902-0377 or through the SAO homepage at http://www.sao.wa.gov. The report should include:

• A detailed description of the improper governmental action(s);

• The name of the employee(s) involved;

• The agency, division and location where the action(s) occurred;

• When the action(s) occurred;

• Any other details that may be important for the investigation — witnesses, documents, evidence, etc.;

• The specific law or regulation that has been violated, if known;

• The whistleblower’s name, address and phone number.

Assertions of improper governmental action may be filed anonymously. However, by providing a name and phone number, the whistleblower enables the State Auditor to gather additional information necessary for a thorough investigation. The identity of the whistleblower is kept confidential.

The SAO has sole discretion to determine how, or if, whistleblower assertions will be investigated. The law listed factors to be considered when making this determination. The SAO will mail an acknowledgment to the whistleblower within 15 working days of receipt of the report. When the investigation has been completed, the SAO will send the whistleblower a letter containing a summary of the information received and the results of the investigation. If the SAO determines an employee has engaged in improper governmental action, it will report the nature and details of the activity to the subject(s) of the investigation, head of the employee’s agency, Attorney General, Governor, Secretary of State, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the public.

The law protects whistleblowers from reprisal or retaliatory action. If a whistleblower believes he or she has been the subject of such action, the whistleblower may file a claim with the Washington Human Rights Commission. The commission shall investigate the claim and take appropriate action.

A more detailed summary of the Whistleblower Act and methods of transmitting whistleblower assertions are contained in the Administrative Policy Statements at http://www.washington.edu/admin/adminpro/APS/47.01.html. You may call Internal Audit at 206-543-4028 if you have questions relating to any of the above.

State Government Efficiency Hotline

State law requires the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) to establish a toll-free telephone line that is available to public employees and members of the public to:

• recommend measures to improve efficiency in state and local government,

• report waste, inefficiency, or abuse,

• report examples of efficiency or outstanding achievement by state and local agencies, public employees, or persons under contract with state and local agencies.

The SAO must conduct an initial review of each recommendation for efficiency and report of waste, inefficiency or abuse. Following the initial review, the SAO must determine which assertions require further examination or audit under the auditor’s current authority.

The hotline can be reached by:

• Telephone: 1-800-902-3900

• Web site: www.sao.wa.gov  

• Mail: State Auditor’s Office

Attn: Hotline

P.O. Box 40031

Olympia, WA 98504

The identity of a person making a report through the hotline, by e-mail through the SAO’s web site, or other means of communication is kept confidential unless the person consents to disclosure by written waiver or until the investigation is completed. All documents related to the report and subsequent investigation are also confidential until completion of the investigation at which time the records are subject to public records laws.

Individuals Needed for a Research Study using the Multi-sensor Board

Seeking volunteers who are free of major diseases and physical limitations that impair physical activity, for a research study to determine the accuracy of a new tool for measuring physical activity.

You may be eligible if you:

1. Are overweight

2. Are between 18-65 years of age

3. Do not have heart disease or other diseases that limit activity

4. Do not have hip, knee, ankle, back or other bone or joint problems that limit activity

This study requires:

1. Three study visits-

• 1 one-hour study visit to the clinical research center at the UW medical center

• 2 one-hour study visits to the Paul Allen Center on upper campus

2. Filling out two short questionaires

3. Height and weight measures

You will be compensated up to $50 upon completion of the study. For more information, call 206-685-2338.