Skip to Main Content

Whistleblower FAQs

1. What happened to the Fraud, Waste & Abuse Protection Program (FW&A)?

2. Why do we need the Whistleblower Hotline?

3. How does the Whistleblower Program work?

4. Will my report be confidential, and can I remain anonymous?

5. Is this where I submit complaints about managerial or personnel issues?

6. How does the Whistleblower Program differ from the Public Ethics Commission?

7. I have a complaint about something other than fraud, waste, or abuse, where do I go?

More Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the Fraud, Waste, & Abuse Protection Program (FW&A)?

New name, same program. It’s now known as the Whistleblower Program.

Why change the name? Honestly, “Fraud, Waste, & Abuse Protection Program” is a mouthful, so we decided to change it to a name that it is easy to say and clearly demonstrates the hotline’s purpose.

Why do we need the Whistleblower Hotline?

In order to fulfill our vision of continuing to make the City of Oakland better by promoting transparency and ensuring efficient operational practices, the Whistleblower Hotline is a safe, confidential way for anyone to alert us of fraud, waste, or abuse problems in City government.

How does the Whistleblower Program work?

The City Auditor’s office provides the public and City employees a safe method to report incidents of possible fraud, waste, or abuse of City resources. To protect whistleblowers, there is an ordinance that protects City employees from retaliatory acts.

Once we have received adequate information about a complaint we will investigate and take appropriate action. However, we will not undertake an investigation unless we have sufficient basis that the complaint has merit. Additionally, in order to protect the confidential reporting process, updates of actions will not be provided.

Will my report be confidential, and can I remain anonymous?

Yes. When you call the hotline or report online you can choose to remain anonymous. Under The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, all reports made are confidential. However, in order to preserve your confidentiality of the process, the City Auditor does not give updates on the investigations. Discussion of your complaint with others, including family, friends and coworkers, may jeopardize your confidentiality and affect the investigation.

Is this where I submit complaints about managerial or personnel issues?

Yes, please submit all complaints through our Whistleblower Program.

How does the Whistleblower Program differ from the Public Ethics Commission?

The Whistleblower Program purpose is for reporting fraud, waste, and abuse in City government, whereas, the Public Ethics Commission is an independent, non-partisan City board created to oversee compliance with the City’s campaign finance, transparency, and ethics laws.

If the Whistleblower Program receives a complaint that falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Ethics Commission, the complaint will be referred to them.

I have a complaint about something other than fraud, waste, or abuse, where do I go?

Please submit all complaints through our Whistleblower Program.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Your subscribe request has been sent!