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 2:00 p.m.
Text2Tell. Text your concern to 704-430-3930
Your text will be routed through an independent third party to protect your anonymity. Your phone number is not recorded or provided to us. You will receive a confirmation text with directions on how to check the status of your report and communicate anonymously with our office.
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 colleges and universities.
Theft, fraud, and conflict of interest involving state government resources
Improper use or destruction of government resources
Gross misconduct with significant financial effects
Unintentional, thoughtless, or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use or squandering of state government resources
Kickbacks or offers of help that involve return payment to workers or state vendors
We will not accept allegations involving the Federal government, most allegations related to 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. See table below.
Section 5-13-311(1)(a) & (b) of Montana Code says the Legislative Auditor shall analyze and verify the information received or refer the information for appropriate action to the agency that is the subject of the allegation. We do not analyze the information without having enough information to believe there is merit to the complaint. If possible please provide evidence to support your complaint, including documents, witnesses, and any other relevant information.
Whistleblowers are protected. 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 (including phone or address information) 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. To better ensure we have received sufficient information to pursue your claim, you are encouraged to leave your name and phone number for follow-up purposes.
What we do with the information.
We are not a law enforcement agency. However, we may analyze and verify the information independently. We may also request the agency that is the subject of the allegations to provide additional information. 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 staff for their consideration during their audit of the agency involved.
Information received is confidential until 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 and takes any corrective action, information concerning the subject of the complaint and the remedy, if any, is public information unless precluded by law. However, as mentioned above, your identity will still be protected.
If we believe that you have provided evidence of a crime we will report it 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. Finally, if we believe the allegation to be a violation of the Code of Ethics, we will notify the Commissioner of Political Practices.
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. If you have provided the information online you will be given a case number and can create a password. With that information you can log back into the system and receive messages from us, respond to questions we have asked, and check the status of your case. 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, with the identities still being protected.
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.