Guidelines for Reporting Fraud
Types of complaints investigated by the Office of the State Auditor
- Illegal acts affecting State government such as theft, fraud, and financial conflict of interest
- Financial fraud depleting resources or increasing expenditures of the State
- Significant abuse of State equipment or property
- Clear misuse of State property, programs, or work time for personal gain
- Gross misconduct with significant financial effects
- Consistent, wasteful conduct with significant financial implications
- Kickbacks or similiar acts involving return payments to State workers or vendors
Types of complaints not investigated by the Office of the State Auditor
However, the Office does generally refer these complaints to other State agencies or other government authorities:
- Personal conflicts between individuals or domestic or other threats of violence (call your local police)
- Improper acts by federal officials
- Personal gripes against State employees about personal matters
- Mistakes made by State personnel
- Insignificant matters or complaints without sufficient factual basis
- Matters handled by other specific State investigation units
The Office of the State Auditor does not have enforcement power. However, we work with governmental entities that do have enforcement power. This includes the Attorney General's Office and the District Attorneys' Offices.
What we need before we investigate
We do not undertake formal investigations without having a basis for believing there is merit to the complaint in order to protect the identity and reputation of individuals incorrectly accused of committing improper governmental activities.
Because we do not undertake formal investigations without adequate cause, we need evidence to corroborate your complaint such as documents, witnesses, and other specific and relevant information. We need copies of all evidence you have that convinces you that an improper governmental activity has occurred. We will not begin an investigation based solely on a letter or telephone call without such evidence.
We do not investigate complaints filed anonymously because of the difficulty in obtaining sufficient evidence to corroborate the alleged improper activity. However, your identity can be protected under Maine law by the State Auditor and the Office of the State Auditor. We will assume that all individuals filing complaints desire such protection, unless you tell us in writing that you are willing to be identified.
If you do file your complaint without telling us your name and how to reach you, be aware that we may not investigate and we may not be able to investigate due to insufficient information. Please be sure to provide specific and relevant information including the first and last names of any individuals mentioned, their contact information, and the location or address at which the improper activity is occurring.
See our complaint form for additional guidance.
What we will do with your information
- Conduct an initial review to determine if adequate facts indicate that fraud has occurred
- Open a formal investigation if sufficient evidence indicates fraud or illegal acts in our jurisdiction, which is State financial and program compliance with civil laws
- Review the financial implications of a complaint about significant waste of State resources
- Report the nature of each complaint and other facts to the Governor
- Post our Report to the Governor on this web site
- Publish a semiannual report on the number of complaints, number referred, and current status of each complaint on this web site
- Refer criminal matters to the Attorney General or local District Attorney as appropriate
- Refer concerns about poor performance or inefficiencies to the Legislative Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability
- Please remember that we do not have enforcement power, we are auditors