This Policy establishes procedures for the submission and handling of reports by employees and others, including directors, officers and volunteers, of suspected improper conduct taken by or within Public Health Solutions, and for the confidential, anonymous submission of such reports made in good faith without fear of intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation or adverse consequence to the individual’s employment or other role in the organization.
Examples of suspected improper conduct:
• Illegal, fraudulent, unethical or dishonest activities, including activities in violation of federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations or Public Health Solutions policies and procedures.
• Gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds or abuse of authority.
• A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
• Billing for services not performed or for goods not delivered.
• Fraudulent financial reporting.
• Destroying, altering, mutilating, concealing, covering up, falsifying, or making a false entry in any records that may be connected to a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency or bankruptcy proceeding, in violation of federal, state or local law or regulation.
• Fraudulently influencing, coercing, manipulating, or misleading any independent public accountant engaged in the performance of an audit of the financial statements of Public Health Solutions for the purpose of rendering such financial statements misleading, in violation of federal, state or local law.
• Misappropriation or misuse of Public Health Solutions resources.
• Authorizing or accepting compensation for hours not worked.
A ‘whistleblower’ is a Public Health Solutions director, officer, employee or volunteer who in good faith reports suspected improper conduct to one or more of the parties specified below. A whistleblower makes a ‘good faith’ report where s/he has a reasonable basis to believe the report is true; however, a report does not have to be proven to be true to be made in good faith. Good faith is lacking when an individual makes an allegation s/he knows to be to be false or lacking a reasonable basis; employees making such allegations will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.
The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures
Adverse Employment or Other Action (Retaliation):
No whistleblower who in good faith reports suspected improper conduct or participates in an investigation, hearing, court proceeding or other administrative inquiry in connection with a report of suspected improper conduct shall suffer intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation, including adverse employment consequences such as termination, suspension, compensation decrease or poor work assignments. A whistleblower who believes he/she is being retaliated against should contact the designated Audit Committee member, Director of Internal Audit and/or the Vice President of Human Resources of Human Resources (see contact information below).
An employee who retaliates against a whistleblower who has reported suspected improper conduct in good faith is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
The right of a whistleblower to protection from retaliation does not include immunity from investigation of, or disciplinary action in response to, the whistleblower’s own improper conduct.
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is primarily responsible for the administration of this policy. The Audit Committee will work closely with the Vice President of Human Resources and the Director of Internal Audit, who are the employees designated to administer this policy and report to the Audit Committee regarding this policy, to ensure this policy’s effectiveness and may delegate to management and/or third parties (e.g. outside audit or law firms) responsibility for all or part of the administration of this policy.
Directors who are employees of Public Health Solutions may not participate in any Board or Audit Committee deliberations or voting relating to administration of this policy. Any person who is the subject of a whistleblower complaint may not be present at or participate in Board or Audit Committee deliberations or vote on the matter relating to such complaint. The Board or Audit Committee may request that the person who is subject to the complaint present information as background or answer questions at a Board or Audit Committee meeting prior to the commencement of deliberations or voting on the complaint.
A director, officer, employee or volunteer who suspects improper conduct may call Public Health Solutions’ confidential hotline at 646-619-6626. Callers who wish to remain anonymous must dial the entire number (including area code). If a caller leaves his or her name and phone number, the Director of Internal Audit/Compliance Officer will return the call.
Alternatively, improper conduct may be reported directly by telephone or in writing to the Chairperson of Public Health Solutions’ Audit Committee (Shoshanna Sofaer), the Vice President of Human Resources and/or to the Director of Internal Audit:
Shoshanna Sofaer, DrPH
Director of Strategic Research Planning, Health & Social Development American Institutes for Research
22 Cortlandt Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Thomas Salvo, Vice President– Human Resources
40 Worth Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Robert Dalton, Director, Internal Audit
40 Worth Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Whistleblower complaints relating to federal contracts or grants may also be lodged with:
(a) A Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress.
(b) An Inspector General of the agency that awarded the contract or grant.
(c) The Government Accountability Office.
(d) A Federal employee responsible for contract oversight or management at the relevant agency.
(e) An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency.
(f) A court or grand jury.
Whistleblower complaints relating to contracts with the city of New York may also be lodged with:
(a) The Commissioner of the Department of Investigation;
(b) A member of the New York City Council, the Public Advocate or the City Comptroller, or
(c) The City Chief Procurement Officer, agency chief contracting officer (ACCO), or Agency head or Commissioner of the contracting agency.
To the extent possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower and the information provided will be maintained consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
Following receipt of a whistleblower complaint, the Human Resources Department, Director of Internal Audit and/or Audit Committee will provide an acknowledgement to a non-anonymous complainant, may seek further information from the complainant, conduct an investigation, as appropriate, independently or in conjunction with a third party, where necessary, refer to an appropriate authority and/or take corrective action, including taking appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, against employees whose conduct was found to be improper. A non-anonymous complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
This policy will be distributed to all directors, officers, employees and to volunteers who provide substantial services to Public Health Solutions. The policy will also be posted on Public Health Solutions’ staff website.