You are here: Home About Us 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 director of Internal Audit for appropriate delegation as outlined in this procedural directive.

Individuals may also directly contact the director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit 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 internal auditor, at least monthly, of all district property that has been reported stolen in a format mutually agreed upon by the director of Internal Audit and the chief of Albuquerque Public Schools Police.

Whistleblower Complaints

The director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit shall resolve the whistleblower complaint by working with the appropriate department and/or individual for inquiry and follow-up as outlined below.  The director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit 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 director of Internal Audit for appropriate follow-up.  The director of Internal Audit may request additional documentation from the department/individual designated by the president of the Board of Education as necessary for a complete report.

The director of Internal Audit shall track the number of and other appropriate information regarding whistleblower complaints regarding the superintendent for reporting to the Board of Education.

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, forward the information, resolution and any necessary recommendations from the inquiry to the director of Internal Audit for appropriate follow-up.  The director of Internal Audit may request additional documentation from the chief of police, or his/her designee, as necessary for a complete report.

The director of Internal Audit 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 direct the director of Internal Audit to complete an investigation, audit or program evaluation, within the parameters of this procedural directive, if there is an suspected concern about a locally authorized charter school brought to their attention.

Charter School Finances

If the nature of a whistleblower/concern is about the finances of a locally authorized charter school, the director of Internal Audit, or his/her designee, shall conduct an audit.  The director of Internal Audit, or his/her designee, shall compile a report of its findings, recommendations and any other documentation as necessary.    The investigation shall align with all requirements in this procedural directive.  Due to the nature of locally authorized charter schools as component units of Albuquerque Public Schools, the district reserves the right to audit finances of locally authorized charter schools and complete a report for its own purposes.

The director of Internal Audit shall present this report for primary reporting to the superintendent, chief operations officer, assistant superintendent for school and community support services, the superintendent’s designee(s) and the executive director of Board Services.  The report on finances of a locally authorized charter school shall follow the reporting standards contained in this procedural directive, including the secondary report, report to the Board of Education and the final report.  The Board of Education may take appropriate action as outlined in the Charter Schools Procedural Directive regarding financial problems at locally authorized charter schools.

Charter School Personnel

If the nature of a whistleblower/concern is about a personnel issue at a locally authorized charter school, the director of Internal Audit immediately shall forward the whistleblower/concern to the assistant superintendent for school and community support services and the Albuquerque Public Schools Charter/Magnet School director of the whistleblower/concern.  The Albuquerque Public Schools Charter/Magnet Schools director shall immediately notify the governing body and head administrator of the locally authorized charter school of the whistleblower/concern.  The governing body and head administrator of the locally authorized charter school may designate an individual to complete an investigation and resolve the issue.

Charter School Compliance

If the nature of a whistleblower/concern is about a compliance issue at a locally authorized charter school, the director of Internal Audit immediately shall notify the assistant superintendent for school and community support services and Albuquerque Public Schools Charter/Magnet School director.  The assistant superintendent for school and community support services, or his/her designee, immediately shall notify the governing body of the locally authorized charter school to conduct a program evaluation.  The locally authorized charter school shall compile a report of its findings, recommendations and any other documentation as necessary.  Due to the authority as the authorizer of a locally authorized charter school, Albuquerque Public schools reserves the right to audit or evaluate compliance issues of locally authorized charter schools and complete a report for its own purposes if it finds the program evaluation and report from the locally authorized charter school inadequate.

If necessary, the assistant superintendent of school and community support services, or his/her designee shall present this report for primary reporting to the superintendent, chief operations officer, and the superintendent’s designee(s).  The report on compliance of a locally authorized charter school shall follow the reporting standards contained in this procedural directive, including the secondary report, report to the Board of Education and the final report.  The Board of Education may take appropriate action as outlined in the Charter Schools Procedural Directive regarding compliance issues at locally authorized charter schools.

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 director of internal audit and/or the department responsible for completing an inquiry deems this action is appropriate, they immediately shall notify the superintendent, chief operations officer and director of Internal Audit of the proposed action.  The superintendent may:

  • Choose not to have a an investigation, audit or program evaluation performed
  • 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 internal auditor of his/her decision regarding the proposed action.  The director of Internal Audit 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.

Please refer to the “Internal Audits, Investigations and Evaluations” procedural directive for more information regarding required procedures for these actions.

Administrative Position: Chief Operations Officer

Department Director: Director of Internal Audit

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §22-8-12.3 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

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

Document Actions
Featured News
APS, Kennedy Center partnership will lead to more arts ed
District, city, Washington's Kennedy Center to plan for arts opportunities
AVID gets $23,000 for NM college visits
The program in 29 APS schools received the APS Education Foundation's Varsity Award.
Save the Date: Annual School Choice Fair is Oct. 20
More than 100 APS elementary, middle, high and charter schools will be on hand to answer your questions.
Longfellow Students Travel Along El Camino Real
The historic trail wraps around the school's front yard, where students walk in the footsteps of explorers, settlers, soldiers and missionaries.
Student of the Week Alexandria Shawat
Fifth grader at S.R. Marmon Elementary
More news