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Last month, we reported this:
Employees at the city of San Diego still do not have an outlet for anonymously reporting financial misconduct to the City Council’s Audit Committee, even though a rule requiring the panel to field the concerns of whistleblowers was put in place seven months ago.
Instead, officials for Mayor Jerry Sanders are still in charge of the hotline. It keeps in place an arrangement in which City Hall’s boss oversees the very forum where potentially embarrassing complaints about his administration are registered, while also having the power to fire the thousands of city employees prone to use the hotline.
The idea behind the rule is that the management structure that could be the subject of complaints the hotline collects shouldn’t be the one overseeing it.
To that end, Council members Donna Frye and Tony Young authored a memo this week requesting an analysis from the Independent Budget Analyst of two options:
- Increase staff positions in the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, Internal Auditor, or other city department independent from management to administer the whistleblower hotline. This could be a cost neutral action as current hotline staffing could simply be shifted to another department in the city, or:
- Creation of an independent entity within the city whose sole responsibilities are to administer the whistleblower hotline, investigate complains and address confirmed violations and unethical behavior.
They’ve requested an answer within 30 days.