HOW TO REPORT FRAUD, WASTE, OR ABUSE ALLEGATIONS TO THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR
Establishment of a fraud hotline
Section 5-13-311, MCA, enacted in 1993, required the Legislative Auditor to establish and maintain a toll-free telephone number for use by Montana residents for the reporting of fraud, waste, and abuse in state government.
You may anonymously report your fraud, waste, or abuse allegation by any of the following methods:
E-mail LADHotline@mt.govwith a description of the allegation. Please see the form above for help in gathering your information.
Call the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-800-222-4446 or in Helena at 444-4446. This Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A person is generally available to answer your call personally Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Send a written report via the U.S. Postal Service to the following address:
What allegations will be reviewed by the Legislative Auditor?
The Fraud Hotline will accept allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse involving Montana state government and Montana higher education institutions.
Illegal acts affecting state government such as theft, fraud, and financial conflict of interest
Significant abuse of state equipment or property
Clear misuse of state property, programs, or work time for personal gain
Gross misconduct with significant financial effects
Consistent wasteful conduct with significant financial implications
Kickbacks or offers of help that involve return payment to workers or state vendors
We will not accept allegations involving the Federal government, units of local government, or allegations involving a private (non-government) entities unless the private entity has a contract or grant with a state government agency.
Improper acts by federal officials
Improper acts of private entities not contracting with state government
Personal gripes against employees about personal matters
Rude conduct of an occasional nature
Human mistakes of state personnel
Insignificant matters or complaints without sufficient factual basis
Even if the Legislative Auditor does not have jurisdiction over your allegation, there may be another State, federal, or local agency that may be able to help you. Please see our “Find Help with Your Complaint” form.
What we need.
Section 5-13-311(1)(a) & (b) states that the Legislative Auditor shall analyze and verify the information received or refer the information for appropriate action to the agency that is or appears to be the subject of the allegation. We do not undertake to analyze the information without having enough information to form a basis for believing that there is merit to the complaint. Please provide evidence to corroborate your complaint such as documents, witnesses, and other specific and relevant information.
An employee of the state of Montana or an authorized contractor who provides information may not be subject to any penalties, sanctions, retaliation, or restrictions in connection with the employee's or contractor's employment as a result of the disclosure of information unless the employee or contractor disclosing the information has violated state law.
You may remain anonymous and we do not disclose your identity even when information related to our follow-up is made public. However, we will not initiate a review without adequate cause, and anonymous allegations that do not include sufficient information will not be pursued. You are encouraged to leave your name and phone number for follow-up purposes.
What we do with the information.
We are not an investigatory or law enforcement agency. In most cases we either use the information in the audit process or refer the information to the agency that is or appears to be the subject of the allegations. As auditors we must consider risk and materiality in our audits and examinations. Allegations that, even if true, appear immaterial or insignificant from a monetary or operational standpoint, may be referred back to the agency involved in the allegation for its consideration of future changes in policy or procedure. We also reserve the right to forward the information contained in the allegation to our auditors for their consideration of the subject matter during their audit of the agency involved. Pursuant to statute the agency is required to take adequate and appropriate action to investigate and remedy any fraud, waste, or abuse discovered as a result of the referral.
Information received is confidential until the time that the legislative auditor or other appropriate agency determines the validity of the information and takes corrective action. After the legislative auditor or other appropriate agency takes action to verify the fraud, waste, or abuse complained of and takes any corrective action, information concerning the subject of the complaint and the remedy, if any, is public information unless precluded by law.
If we believe that you have provided evidence of a crime we will report that to the Montana Attorney General or local law enforcement agency. Further, if we determine that the information provided shows a waste of state resources; we will report the matter to the legislative fiscal analyst.
How you find out the status of the allegation.
Generally we will not keep you apprised of the status of any allegation. If you have provided your name and contact information, we will contact you if we need further information in order to follow up on your allegation. Any information acquired or developed as part of an ongoing audit is treated as confidential until the conclusion of the audit. Once completed and released, our “Blue Cover” audit reports are public documents published on our website http://leg.mt.gov/css/publications/audit/reports.asp . Any findings resulting from allegations received and analyzed by our office would be included in those public reports.
If we make a referral to an agency and receive a response from them we will share, in general terms, their response with you if you inquire. We do not provide a copy of any correspondence from you to the agency nor do we provide a copy of their response to you. We cannot assist you in resolving personal issues you may have with an agency or agency personnel; nor can we provide you with legal advice or suggest any attorney to assist you.