UA Confidential Hotline Reporting Tips
It’s commonly understood that having a workplace culture that supports employees raising concerns about high ranking risks, potentially fraudulent activity, and noncompliance to management’s attention fare better at reaching their goals and objectives. That’s largely because this attitude fosters a positive culture wherein employees feel they are heard and that problems will be addressed. If a reporter is aware of local reporting mechanisms, such as within their department or campus, they are encouraged to try these mechanisms first. The UA Confidential Hotline was provided as an additional reporting mechanism for when other options have been exhausted or are determined to be impractical considering the nature of the tip or complaint.
One noteworthy feature is that the Hotline allows for ongoing correspondence with the reporter even when the reporter elects to remain anonymous. This works when two key elements are in place: 1) the reporter documents the unique report key that is provided at the time of filing the report, and 2) the reporter enters a unique password which only they know. It’s critical that the reporter keeps track of these two pieces of information so they can log back into the system to check the status of their report and whether there are any questions for them. This is the only way to ensure their anonymity. If the reporter loses one or both of the pieces of information, they will not be able to log in nor will the hotline vendor be able to assist them. A link between the information and the reporter’s identity would have to exist in order for the vendor to be able to assist the reporter with the report ID or their password. When an anonymous reporter loses one or both pieces of the information, they should submit a new report and include a note that it is a repeat of their earlier report.
Along the same note as above, it’s important for reporters to provide enough detail to facilitate adequate follow-up on the tip or complaint. While the Hotline intake process includes prompts for details, the reporter should consider that the employee assigned to follow-up on the matter might not have firsthand knowledge with the situation being reported. The Hotline even has an attachment upload feature for reporters to provide documentation as part of their tip or complaint, even if they choose to remain anonymous. Understandably, an anonymous reporter may be hesitant to provide too many details or documentation since doing so could provide a link to their identity. This may explain why, even with the ability to correspond anonymously, some reporters do not address questions posed for them in the Hotline.
It’s important to recognize that not all tips and complaints received through the Hotline will result in a formal investigation. The action taken upon receipt of a tip or complaint could range from analysis, inquiry, comparison to supporting documentation, monitoring, auditing, other response action, or a formal investigation. If you file a report for the purpose of wanting to make sure someone is aware of a potential problem in case a trend is identified, it is helpful to state this in the report.
Hotline reports are referred to other departments depending on the nature of the matter reported.
Visit the Hotline report intake site for more information: alaska.ethicspoint.com