Whistleblower - Reporting State Employee Misconduct

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Reviewed (date last reviewed but not changed)
Policy Prepared By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Category


SUBJECT: Whistleblower - Reporting State Employee Misconduct


RCW 42.40 was enacted to encourage employees of the State of Washington to report improper governmental actions to the Office of State Auditor.  "Improper governmental action" means any action by an employee that violates state law, abuses authority, wastes public funds, or endangers public health or safety.  "Improper governmental action" does NOT include personnel actions involving employee grievances and related complaints.


1. If an employee feels one of the above items has occurred, he/she has the right to contact the State Auditor's Office.  This must be done in writing.  Phones calls will not be accepted.            

Office of the State Auditor
Division of Departmental Audits
Attention:  ED
PO Box 40021              
Olympia, WA 98504-0021

Information needed in the letter:

  • Name of the employee who is involved in the alleged improper governmental action;
  • Identity of the agency where each employee is employed;
  • Specific description of the improper governmental action;
  • Other details pertaining to the action requested to be investigated;
  • Notification should be signed, but is not required.  Any signer's name will be held in strict confidence.                 

2. Preliminary investigation of the allegation will be conducted within 30 days.  (For substantiated allegations, further investiga­tions may occur or a report may be issued.)

3. The Superintendent will be notified of any substantiated allegations. Guarantees must be made that any person filing a Whistleblower (if known) will not receive any type of retaliatory action.

4. The Superintendent will follow the necessary steps for compliance as outlined in the State Auditor's policy which is on file in the administra­tion office.

5. A written summary of the procedures for reporting improper governmental action as established by the State Auditor will be provided to each new employee and all employees will be informed annually.

6. The employee handbook will include a section covering the procedures for reporting improper governmental action.