State Auditor Fraud Hotline
House Bill 66, which takes effect May 4, 2012, requires the Auditor of State to maintain a system for the reporting of fraud, including the misuse of public money by any public official or office. The system allows individuals to make anonymous complaints through a toll-free telephone number, the Auditor of State’s website, or through the United States mail. The Auditor’s office is required to keep a log of all complaints filed.
Who may file a complaint with the Auditor of State’s office?
Ohio residents and the employees of any public office may file a complaint.
What information will the Auditor’s log contain?
According to the statute, the log must contain the following information: the date the complaint was received, a general description of the nature of the complaint, the name of the public office or agency against which the complaint is directed, and a general description of the status of the review by the Auditor’s office.
Is the Auditor’s log a public record?
In most cases, the log will be a public record. Information in the log may be redacted if a statute provides an applicable exemption. Information will also be redacted during the course of an investigation conducted by the Auditor of State’s office.
What other impact does this bill have on public employers?
On May 4, 2012, school districts must make their current employees aware of the fraud-reporting system. Districts must also provide information about the fraud-reporting system to all new hires. All new employees must confirm that they received this information within 30 days after beginning employment.
How should the district notify new employees of the fraud-reporting system?
Districts may require new employees to sign forms acknowledging that they were notified of the fraud-reporting system. The Auditor of State has created a model acknowledgement form for this purpose, which is available online at: www.auditor.state.oh.us/services/lgs/bulletins/2012/2012-003.pdf. Alternatively, districts may provide the fraud-reporting system information in the district’s employee handbook and instruct employees to sign and verify their receipt of the handbook.
Are current employees required to sign an acknowledgement form?
The statute requires only newly hired employees to acknowledge that they were notified of the fraud-reporting system. Although the statute requires employers to make all of their employees (both new and current) aware of the fraud-reporting system, only newly hired employees are required by statute to acknowledge that they received the information.