CSHB 86(STA): "An Act establishing in the office of the ombudsman a public employee fraud, waste, and abuse report hotline program."

00 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 86(STA) 01 "An Act establishing in the office of the ombudsman a public employee fraud, waste, 02 and abuse report hotline program." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 24.55.090(a) is amended to read: 05 (a) The ombudsman shall, by regulations adopted under AS 44.62 06 (Administrative Procedure Act), establish procedures for receiving and processing 07 (1) complaints, conducting investigations, reporting findings, and 08 ensuring that confidential information obtained by the ombudsman in the course of an 09 investigation will not be improperly disclosed; and 10 (2) reports made by public employees using the public employee 11 fraud, waste, and abuse hotline program. 12 * Sec. 2. AS 24.55 is amended by adding a new section to read: 13 Article 4A. Public Employee Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline Program. 14 Sec. 24.55.222. Public employee fraud, waste, and abuse hotline program.

01 (a) The ombudsman shall establish, maintain, and administer the public employee 02 fraud, waste, and abuse hotline program to encourage agency employees to report 03 situations where fraud, waste, or abuse may be occurring in the state's agencies. 04 (b) The ombudsman may make available to agency employees a variety of 05 means to report fraud, waste, and abuse in agencies, one of which shall be an 06 anonymous toll-free telephone number, and including any other communications to 07 the ombudsman made through the governor or heads of agencies, or made by mail, 08 electronic mail, facsimile, and the Internet. 09 (c) An allegation made to the hotline shall be considered to be anonymous. 10 The ombudsman may attempt to identify any person contacting the hotline and shall 11 protect the anonymity of the agency employee reporting to the hotline. 12 (d) The ombudsman shall report to the Legislative Budget and Audit 13 Committee every six months, and to the legislature annually, regarding the number of 14 calls, and the types of fraud, waste, and abuse reported through the hotline program. 15 (e) In this section, 16 (1) "abuse" means the intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, 17 misapplication, maltreatment, or misuse of government resources, and extravagant or 18 excessive use of one's position or authority; abuse may include financial and non- 19 financial misuse of government resources; 20 (2) "fraud" means the intentional deception, including a false 21 representation of a matter or fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or 22 misleading statements, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed 23 and that deceives and is intended to deceive, by any person within or external to the 24 state government that could result in a benefit to the person perpetrating the fraud, or a 25 detriment to others or the state; 26 (3) "waste" means the intentional or unintentional, thoughtless or 27 careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use of, or squandering of a 28 resource of an agency to the detriment or potential detriment of the state, or incurring 29 unnecessary costs as a result of inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or 30 controls. 31 * Sec. 3. AS 39.25 is amended by adding a new section to read:

01 Sec. 39.25.920. Department of administration to inform employees of 02 hotline. The commissioner of administration shall inform agency employees of the 03 public employee fraud, waste, and abuse hotline program established under 04 AS 24.55.222. In this section, "agency" has the meaning given in AS 24.55.330. 05 * Sec. 4. AS 39.90.100(a) is amended to read: 06 (a) A public employer may not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate 07 against an employee regarding the employee's compensation, terms, conditions, 08 location, or privileges of employment because 09 (1) the employee, or a person acting on behalf of the employee, reports 10 to a public body or is about to report to a public body a matter of public concern; [OR] 11 (2) the employee participates in a court action, an investigation, a 12 hearing, or an inquiry held by a public body on a matter of public concern; or 13 (3) the employee contacted the ombudsman in regard to an 14 allegation of fraud, waste, or abuse under the public employee fraud, waste, and 15 abuse hotline program under AS 24.55. 16 * Sec. 5. AS 39.90.110(c) is amended to read: 17 (c) As part of its written personnel policy, a public employer may require that, 18 before an employee initiates a report on a matter of public concern under 19 AS 39.90.100, the employee shall submit a written report concerning the matter to the 20 employer. However, the employee is not required to submit a report if the employee 21 (1) reasonably believes that reports to the employer will not result in 22 prompt action to remedy the matter of public concern; 23 (2) believes with reasonable certainty that the activity, policy, or 24 practice is already known to one or more supervisors; 25 (3) reasonably believes that an emergency is involved; [OR] 26 (4) reasonably fears reprisal or discrimination as a result of disclosure; 27 or 28 (5) contacts the ombudsman under the public employee fraud, 29 waste, and abuse hotline program under AS 24.55.