The Whistleblower Hotline is a 24-hour online and telephonic mechanism for reporting suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or other misconduct by County employees, contractors and vendors. The online feature of the Hotline can also be used to get the status of previously filed complaints.
You may make a report 24 hours a day, seven days a week by telephone, or using the online form through this website. The County has contracted with Navex Global, to provide the independent, secure EthicsPoint portal.
- We believe that our employees are our most important asset. By creating open channels of communication, we can promote a positive work environment and maximize productivity.
- It is good practice for governments to have an anonymous reporting vehicle to address accounting and auditing fraud.
- An effective reporting system will augment our other efforts to foster a culture of integrity and ethical decision-making.
Any kind of fraud or misconduct can be reported except welfare fraud and those listed at the end of this section. You may report any Santa Barbara County manager, employee, contractor or vendor who may be committing fraud, or any practice or act you observe that results in the waste or misapplication of County resources.
Most types of fraud are investigated by the Auditor-Controller. Some misconduct, including recipient welfare fraud, claims for child support, or allegations of child abuse, are referred by the Hotline operator to other agencies for investigation. Below are examples of some types of fraud commonly reported to the Hotline:
|Any intentional act or omissions designed to deceive others that results in the County suffering a loss of money, property, or other disadvantage to which the employee would not be entitled.||
|The intentional or unintentional thoughtless, reckless, or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use or squandering of County resources. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs because of negligently efficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.||
|Intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, misapplication, maltreatment, or misuse of County resources.||
When reporting suspected fraud, waste, and abuse, please provide as much information and detail as possible, including who, what, when, where, why, and howIf you do not provide adequate information, we will not be able to complete an investigation.
Your complaint should include:
- Name/names of individual(s) that clearly identifies the person you are alleging has acted improperly and, if possible, the department where that person works.
- A description of the fraud, waste, and/or abuse.
- When and where did the incident occur?
- How did the alleged misconduct occur?
- How was the incident brought to your attention?
- If there are witnesses who can confirm the validity of your statements, please provide names and contact information.
- How long have the conditions been occurring?
- Does any evidence exist? Do you have documents/photos/video to support what you are alleging?
- Who supervises the individual(s) involved in the alleged misconduct?
- If the individuals involved in the alleged misconduct are not employees of the County, are they a contractor/vendor doing business with the County?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breach in security. These reports are only made available to the Internal Audit Division ("IA") of the Auditor-Controller's Office. This independent division has been charged with evaluating the report, based on the type of violation and location of the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence. All complaints will be reviewed, and if appropriate, IA will investigate whether fraud, waste or abuse has occurred. In certain circumstances, IA will refer an investigation to another law enforcement agency or County department and follow up on the outcome.
Generally, a confidential report of the findings is issued to the appropriate department/agency including the District Attorney for possible criminal prosecution at the end of an investigation. Substantiated cases may result in some level of administrative action and/or criminal prosecution.
Submit a Report
or Call toll-free, (844) 413-4025
OTHER REPORTING RESOURCES:
Workers' Compensation Fraud (District Attorney):
- Phone: (805) 568-2322
Welfare Fraud (District Attorney):
Child Abuse or Neglect (Department of Social Services):
Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse or Neglect (Department of Social Services):
- Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30 pm: (844) 751-6729
- After Business Hours: (805) 692-5744 (Sheriff's Dispatch)
- If an elder is in immediate danger, call 911
- If abuse is in a licensed residential or long-term facility: (805) 922-1236
Anonymous Tip (Sheriff's Office):
- (805) 683-2724 (Non-Emergency 24/7 Dispatch)