CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Senate introduced a bill on Thursday, Feb. 13 could open the doors for potential whistleblowers across the state to report when something’s wrong.
SF 70 would establish a reporting system for anyone looking to report governmental abuse, fraud or waste. The Wyoming Department of Audit director would have to establish a toll-free number and an online form for Wyoming residents to report anything unlawful. The reporting party would be kept anonymous from the person they are discussing, and there would be an option to report anonymously.
Abuse is defined in the bill as “excessive or improper use of a thing or to use something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use.” Fraud is “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in personal or financial gain.” Waste is “the thoughtless or careless expenditure, mismanagement or abuse of resources to the detriment of the governmental agency or incurring unnecessary costs.”
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The audit director or the appropriate governmental entity will look into the reports. He will also have to report the results of reviews, verifications and referrals conducted to the established website.
Three senators, including Sen. Tom James, and three representatives, including Rep. Mark Jennings, co-sponsored the bill.
It received unanimous support, with all 30 senators voting to send it to the Judiciary Committee.
This law would go into effect on July 1, 2020, if signed by Gov. Mark Gordon.
Concerned about this or other legislation? An online hotline system allows Wyomingites to have messages delivered to legislators on issues they are concerned with.