Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 1. Administration
Agency 42. Office of The State Inspector General
Chapter 30. Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund

1VAC42-30-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abuse" means an employer's or employee's conduct or omissions that result in substantial misuse, destruction, waste, or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from federal, state, or local government sources.

"Commonwealth" means the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Disclosure" means a voluntary formal or informal communication or transmission of (i) any violation of any law, rule, or regulation; (ii) gross mismanagement; (iii) a gross waste of funds; (iv) an abuse of authority; or (v) a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

"Employee" means any individual who is employed on either a salaried or wage basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of and whose compensation is payable no more often than biweekly in whole or in part by a Virginia governmental agency.

"Employer" means a person supervising one or more employees, including the employee filing a good faith report, a superior of that supervisor, or an agent of the governmental agency.

"Executive branch agency" or "agency" means any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, public institution of higher education, or instrumentality of state government in the executive department listed in the appropriation act.

"Fraud" means the intentional deception perpetrated by an individual or an organization, either internal or external to state government, that could result in a tangible or intangible benefit to themselves, others, or the Commonwealth, including local government, or could cause detriment to others or the Commonwealth. Fraud includes a false representation of the facts, whether by words or by conduct. Fraud also includes false or misleading statements, the concealment of essential information, or information or actions that deceive or are intended to deceive.

"Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act Program" or "WBPA Program" means the policy of the Commonwealth that Commonwealth citizens and employees of state government are freely able to report instances of wrongdoing or abuse committed by their employing agency, other state agencies, or independent contractors of state agencies.

"Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund" or "fund" means the fund used solely to provide monetary rewards to Commonwealth citizens who have disclosed information of wrongdoing or abuse under the WBPA Program that results in a recovery of at least $5,000.

"Good faith report" means a reported incident of possible wrongdoing or abuse made without malice, for which the person reporting has reasonable cause to believe wrongdoing or abuse occurred.

"Governmental agency" means (i) any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch listed in the appropriation act and any independent agency; (ii) any county, city, town, or local or regional governmental authority; and (iii) any local school division as defined in § 22.1-280.2:2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Hotline coordinator" means a qualified employee, designated by a governmental agency director or chief administrator, responsible for conducting State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline investigations referred to the agency by OSIG.

"Internal audit director" means a director of a governmental agency internal audit program.

"Misconduct" means conduct or behavior by an employee that is inconsistent with state, local, or agency standards for which specific corrective or disciplinary action is warranted.

"Nonstate agency" means any public or private foundation, authority, institute, museum, corporation, or similar organization that is (i) not a unit of state government or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth as established by general law or special act and (ii) wholly or principally supported by state funds. "Nonstate agency" shall not include any such entity that receives state funds (a) as a subgrantee of a state agency; (b) through a state grant-in-aid program authorized by law; (c) as a result of an award of a competitive grant or a public contract for the procurement of goods, services, or construction; or (d) pursuant to a lease of real property as described in subdivision 5 of § 2.2-1149 of the Code of Virginia.

"Office of the State Inspector General" or "OSIG" means the governmental agency that conducts independent investigations, performance audits, and other services designed to provide objective and useful information to the Commonwealth and those charged with its governance and promotes efficiency and effectiveness in state government executive branch agencies in accordance with Article 1 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Chapter 13.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Public body" means any legislative body; any authority, board, bureau, commission, district, agency, or political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including counties, cities, towns, city councils, boards of supervisors, school boards, planning commissions, and boards of visitors of institutions of higher education; and other organizations, corporations, or agencies in the Commonwealth supported wholly or principally by public funds. "Public body" includes any committee, subcommittee, or other entity however designated of the public body or formed to advise the public body, including those with private sector or citizen members and corporations organized by the Virginia Retirement System. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "public body" does not include the courts of the Commonwealth.

"Reward" means a monetary benefit payable from the fund by OSIG to an eligible whistle blower.

"Screening process" means OSIG's internal review to ensure reports of information or disclosures of wrongdoing fall within the authority of the WBPA Program.

"State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline" or "hotline" means the program (i) that provides Commonwealth citizens with a confidential and anonymous method to report suspected occurrences of fraud, waste, and abuse in state agencies and institutions and (ii) that provides the Commonwealth a way to investigate such occurrences to determine their validity and make appropriate recommendations to address deficiencies.

"Whistle blower" means a Commonwealth employee or citizen who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or abuse and who makes a good faith, open, and public report of the wrongdoing or abuse to one of the employee's superiors, an agent of the employer, or an appropriate authority.

"Wrongdoing" means a violation, which is not of a merely technical or minimal nature, of a federal or state law or regulation or a formally adopted code of conduct or ethics of a professional organization designed to protect the interests of the public or an employee. "Wrongdoing" includes (i) any violation of any law, rule, or regulation; (ii) gross mismanagement; (iii) a gross waste of funds; (iv) an abuse of authority; or (v) a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

Statutory Authority

§ 2.2-3014 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 20, eff. June 27, 2019.

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