County whistleblowers now have somewhere to contact about suspected impropriety.
Ten months after the Board of Supervisors created a new ethics curriculum for all employees and set aside more than $65,000 to establish a website, training and hotline, the lines are now open. This week, employees received word the toll-free hotline and “web-based access point” are now available.
County Manager John Maltbie said the lengthy delay between approval and implementation was due to problems connecting with the private third-party organization contracted to receive and screen the calls.
“We just had a hell of a time getting their computer stuff to work with our computer system,” Maltbie said.
Maltbie said he’d stop short of comparing the situation to the Affordable Care Act’s technical hiccups but that it was up there.
Now that everything is up and running, the whistleblower line is a way for individuals to confidentially and anonymously report possible fraud, waste or abuse of county funds, property or equipment, Maltbie told county workers in an email about it being accessible.
The expanded county whistleblowing options were the suggestion of Supervisor Dave Pine who previously told his board colleagues it could be a way to help restore public faith after at least six local cases of alleged fraud came forward at public entities by employees including those with the Public Administrator and the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District.
In a parallel move, Controller Bob Adler also funded an expansion of his office’s use of software to identify unusual financial activities and a one-time independent evaluation of its audit division.
Reports can be made at www.reportlineweb.com or calling toll-free at (855) 387-2497.
Likewise, reports of discrimination, harassment or other equal opportunity violations should be directed to Human Resources at 363-4340.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102