You are here: Home About APS Policies and Procedural Directives Procedural Directives G. Personnel Whistleblower Complaints

Whistleblower Complaints

Definitions

For purposes of this procedural directive, “whistleblower” means a person who reveals any suspected wrongdoings or malpractices that are taking place within an organization via the contracted service the district provides.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “whistleblower complaint” means the information, complaint or concern received from a whistleblower.

For purpose of this procedural directive, “inquiry” means a search for knowledge and understanding about a matter.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “investigation” means a formal, systematic, detailed examination into a matter.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “audit” means the formal examination of an individual’s or department’s accounting records, financial situation or compliance with some other set of standards.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “program evaluation” means a systematic inquiry into the efficiency and effectiveness of accomplishing stated objectives; ethical issues; adherence to applicable federal and state law and regulation; responsible and appropriate use of resources, including funds, property and personnel; adequate operating and administrative processes, practices and internal management controls of specific projects and/or services administered by the district.

Responsibility to Notify Albuquerque Public Schools of Criminal, Unethical or Concerning Activity

Albuquerque Public Schools shall maintain an anonymous whistleblower service through which any individual may issue a complaint or concern regarding the district.  These concerns may include any suspected unethical activity observed by the individual.   Whistleblower complaints shall be directed to the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center for appropriate delegation as outlined in this procedural directive. 

Individuals also may directly contact the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center  regarding complaints and concerns with the district.  These complaints and concerns shall be delegated to the appropriate department for inquiry as outlined in this procedural directive.

The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center  shall forward all issues or concerns that may be criminal in nature to the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department for investigation.  The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall notify the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center when an investigation for unlawful actions is underway. 

District employees shall notify the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department, within one (1) business day of knowledge of any suspected unlawful action, including theft of district property, of which employees are aware.  The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall investigate any and all suspected unlawful actions reported by district employees.  The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall notify the superintendent or his/her designee as appropriate of all district property that has been reported stolen.

Whistleblower Complaints

The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center or his/her designee shall resolve each whistleblower complaint to the best of his/her ability.  If, in his/her opinion, this resolution requires information from other departments in the district, the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center shall resolve the whistleblower complaint by working with the appropriate department and/or individual for inquiry and follow-up as outlined below.  The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center or his/her designee shall provide the appropriate department and/or individual with the information deemed necessary from a whistleblower complaint to be as accurate as possible and to grant the department and/or individual the ability to complete the inquiry and follow up.  However, the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center shall not provide any information that must remain confidential to protect the anonymity of the individual(s) filing the complaint, to protect the district from claims of retaliation, to avoid conflicts of interest and/or due to state statute or regulation.

The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center shall track the number of and other appropriate information regarding whistleblower complaints for reporting to the Board of Education Audit Committee.

*Note: If at any time any department and/or individual with the responsibility to inquire about a whistleblower/concern discover suspected unlawful activity of a criminal nature, that department and/or individual shall immediately notify the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department of the activity and the inquiry being conducted.  The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department may assume the sole responsibility of the investigation or may share responsibility of the investigation with the original department and/or individual assigned as the Albuquerque Public School Police Department deems appropriate.

Superintendent

If the nature of the whistleblower complaint is about the superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools, the president of the Board of Education shall designate an appropriate department/individual of his/her choice to complete an inquiry into the concern.  The president of the Board of Education’s designee shall forward the information, resolution and any necessary recommendations from the inquiry to the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center for appropriate follow-up.  The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center may request additional documentation from the department/individual designated by the president of the Board of Education as necessary for a complete report. 

The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center shall track the number of and other appropriate information regarding whistleblower complaints regarding the superintendent for reporting to the Board of Education.

Board of Education

If the nature of the whistleblower complaint is about a member of the Board of Education of the Albuquerque Public Schools, the executive director shall refer it to appropriate state and local officials, which may include the State Auditor or the Attorney General.

Criminal

If the nature of the whistleblower complaint is suspected criminal activity, felony or misdemeanor, of an employee, student or activity, the chief of the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department, or his/her designee, shall complete an inquiry into the concern.    Criminal activity may include, but is not limited to, substance abuse at the work place, threats, physical violence, and theft, falsification of information and destruction of property.  The chief of the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department, or his/her designee, will forward the information, resolution and any necessary recommendations from the inquiry to the executive director for Student, Parent, Employee Service Center for appropriate follow-up.  The executive director for Student, Parent, Employee Service Center may request additional documentation from the chief of police, or his/her designee, as necessary for a complete report. 

 The executive director for Student, Parent, Employee Service Center  shall track the number of and other appropriate information regarding whistleblower complaints that are criminal in nature for primary reporting to the superintendent, chief operations officer and superintendent designee(s), and the executive director of Board Services. 

Locally Authorized Charter Schools

Locally authorized charter schools shall have access to whistleblower services.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall have the right to conduct an investigation, audit or program evaluation of a locally authorized charter school, within the parameters of this procedural directive, if there is a whistleblower complaint or concern.  The superintendent or Board of Education may appoint the executive director or other relevant APS personnel to complete an investigation, etc. as appropriate based on the content of the complaint.

Further Action

At any time, an inquiry into a whistleblower complaint may necessitate further action.  This action may include conducting an investigation, performing an audit or program evaluation.  If the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center and/or the department responsible for completing an inquiry deems this action is appropriate, they immediately shall notify the superintendent and chief operations officer of the proposed action.  The superintendent may:

  • Choose not to investigate further
  • Choose to have the department/individual originally assigned to inquiry complete an audit or program evaluation
  • Choose to have a different department/individual perform an audit or program evaluation.

The superintendent shall notify the executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center of his/her decision regarding the proposed action.  The executive director of the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center and/or his/her designee shall appropriately notify the whistleblower that further actions have been taken.  The department assigned to conduct an investigation, audit or program evaluation shall meet all requirements of that action as outlined in procedural directive.

 

Administrative Position:             Chief Operations Officer

Department Director:                  Executive Director of Student, Parent, Employee Service Center

References:
Legal Cross Ref.:                                §22-8-12.3 NMSA 1978
Board Policy Cross Ref.:                    GB7 – Whistleblower Complaints
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:        Charter School Procedural Directive

NSBA/NEPN Classification:       DIE

Revised: April 1996
Reviewed: April 1997
Revised: September 3, 2003
Reviewed: June 14, 2010
Reviewed: December 14, 2011
Reviewed: May 1, 2012
Revised: May 4, 2012
Reviewed: May 10, 2017
Revised: June 14, 2017

Document Actions
News
What Thanksgiving is All About
Superintendent Reedy's holiday message
Continuing Our Thanksgiving Meal Tradition
Many of our elementary schools serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal to students and families.
Student of the Week Libni Perez
A senior at College and Career High School.
Save the Date: #Nov38 on the 28th
We've turned an old typo into an annual opportunity to celebrate generosity and kindness.
Meet the Class of 2018 Selfless Seniors
For a decade now, the APS Education Foundation has been recognizing high school seniors who selflessly give back to their communities.