Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall and State Rep. Josh Cockroft announced the House Special Investigation Committee has created a “whistleblower” hotline for state employees to anonymously and confidentially provide allegations of waste, abuse and fraud taking place in state agencies.
The hotline number is: 405-962-7890. Callers will provide information via voicemail, which can be accessed by the Investigative Committee.
“Several House Republicans recently communicated privately and publically that we need to provide a confidential, anonymous way for state employees to provide information, and I think that is a very good idea,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “The House has made it clear that fraud and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars is going to be investigated. We have an obligation to citizens to ensure their dollars are being used in the way they are intended to be used.”
Following revelations of apparent financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma Department of Health, McCall announced the creation of a House Special Investigation Committee to begin conducting an investigation into the agency’s use of taxpayer dollars. The committee will focus its investigation into the finances, state appropriations and other financial resources of the Department of Health and how they were managed. The scope of the committee’s investigation could expand to other agencies.
Cockroft has been appointed to chair the investigative committee. Cockroft said he will have access to the tip line, and will protect each caller’s confidentiality.
“Oklahoma law prohibits public employers from taking any adverse action against a state employee for providing information of illegal action or misconduct. I want to be clear that no information will be made public, and that all confidentiality will be fully protected. No caller will face retribution from his or her employer for providing information. The hotline will give us the ability to expand our investigation into other agencies, if that becomes necessary. My hope is that I receive very few tips, because I want to believe leadership at our state agencies is acting in a fiduciary way with our taxpayers’ money. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.”
The Investigation Committee will likely begin meeting in mid-December.