Q. What is the Good Government Hotline?
The County Auditor established the Good Government Hotline to provide County employees and the public with a confidential method for reporting suspected fraud, abuse of position, and misuse of county resources. Multnomah County emplyees may use the Hotline to report complaints of harassment or discrimination.
Q. What type of situations should I report?
Review thereportable incidents and definitions,and use those as your guideline for filing a Good Government Hotline report.
Q. May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?
Yes, you can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to you.
Reporters can access the Auditor’s Good Government Hotline in a variety of ways:
- Proceed directly to the Multnomah County reporting page to Make a Report Online
- Call 888-289-6839 (toll free) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reports are taken by an intake specialist. Calls are not recorded and caller ID is disabled.
- Access the Hotline vendor, EthicsPoint, at www.ethicspoint.com. Follow the "file a report" link and enter "Multnomah County".
Q. Why do we need the Good Government Hotline?
- The presence of a reporting system reinforces the message that all County officials, managers, and employees are expected to follow the highest standards of ethical and legal behavior and to act as stewards of taxpayer resources.
- A confidential reporting system administered by the elected, independent Auditor ensures objective review of reports.
- An effective reporting system can be the most useful tool in reducing losses due to fraud, abuse of position, and misuse of resources.
Q. Do County officials and managers really want me to report?
Yes. In fact, the County needs you to report. You know what is going on in the Multnomah County organization - both good and bad. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your reporting can minimize the potential negative impact on Multnomah County, its employees, and citizens impacted by our work. Also, offering positive input may help identify issues that can improve the County’s organizational culture and performance.
Q. If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my supervisor or Human Resources and let them deal with it?
You certainly can, and many situations – such as general concerns about the work of a co-worker or the work environment – are more appropriately discussed with your supervisor or a Human Resources official. However, there are several reasons why you may choose to use the Good Government Hotline. For example, you may be concerned that your report will not be handled appropriately by your supervisor, Human Resources, or some other official, especially when dealing with issues not under his/her control. Or you may have tried to report the issue internally and not received an adequate response.
Q. What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
The Good Government Hotline and EthicsPoint system are designed so that implicated parties are not notified or granted access to reports they have been named in.
Q. How can I be sure my report will be confidential and anonymous?
The Good Government Hotline aims to maintain the confidentiality of reports, including the identity of the reporter, to the extent legally possible. In order to ensure confidentiality, you MUST request that your report be held confidential before you provide details about your concerns. Anonymous reports will also be accepted, although it is often important for us to be able to contact you with additional questions.
Q. Can I file a Good Government Hotline online report from home and still remain anonymous?
A report from home, a neighbor’s computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name we do not collect Internet addresses and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained.
Q. Can I still file a Good Government Hotline report if I don’t have access to the Internet?
You can file a Good Government Hotline report even if you don’t have access to or are uncomfortable using a computer. The Good Government Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 888-289-6839.
Q. Is the telephone Good Government Hotline confidential and anonymous too?
Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures.
Q. What if I want to be identified with my report?
You may identify yourself when making your report to the Good Government Hotline. Information reported must be sufficient and credible before a preliminary review by the Auditor’s Office will be initiated. Having the name of the reporter and supporting documents or as much detailed information as possible included with a report can assist with expediting and facilitating a preliminary review and any subsequent formal investigation.
Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Good Government Hotline online reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breech in security. The reports are screened by the County Auditor and are only accessible to Audit Staff. Complaints of harassment or discrimination will be reviewed by the Multnomah County Office of Diversity and Equity or Central Human Resources. When you file a report online or through the EthicsPoint Call Center you receive a unique user name and are asked to choose a password. You can return to the system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original report to answer follow-up questions and add further information that will help resolve open issues.
Q. I am not sure what I have observed or heard is a violation of company policy, or involve fraud, abuse of position, or misuse of County resource, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?
Review the reportable incidents and definitions, and use those as your guideline for filing a Good Government Hotline report.