June 27, 2014
This Whistleblower Policy is adopted by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust (the “Trust”) pursuant to Not-For-Profit Corporation Law Section 715-b and New York State Public Authorities Law, Sections 2824.1.e and 2857.
It is the policy of the Trust to afford certain protections to individuals who in good faith report violations of the Trust’s Code of Ethics or other instances of potential wrongdoing within the Trust. The Whistleblower Policy and Procedures set forth below are intended to encourage and enable employees to raise concerns in good faith within the Trust and without fear of retaliation or adverse employment action.
- Good Faith: Information concerning potential wrongdoing is disclosed in “good faith” when the individual making the disclosure reasonably believes such information to be true and reasonably believes that it constitutes potential wrongdoing.
- Trust Employee: All board members, and officers and staff employed at the Trust whether full-time, part-time, employed pursuant to contract, employees on probation and temporary employees.
- Whistleblower: Any Trust employee (as defined herein) who in good faith disclosed information concerning wrongdoing by another Trust employee, or concerning the business of the Trust itself.
- Personnel Action: Any action affecting compensation, appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, reassignment, reinstatement or evaluation of performance.
3. Reporting Wrongdoing
All Trust employees who discover or have knowledge of potential wrongdoing concerning Board members, officers, or employees of the Trust; or a person having business dealings with the Trust; or concerning the Trust itself shall report such activity in accordance with the following procedures:
- Information concerning wrongdoing shall be disclosed to the Trust Executive Officer and, in the case of Board members, additionally to the suspected Board member's appointing authority. Ethics complaints may also be filed with the State Inspector General’s office.
- Reports of wrongdoing shall me made in a prompt and timely manner.
- The individual to whom the potential wrongdoing is reported shall investigate and handle the claim in a timely and reasonable manner, which may include referring such information to the Authorities Budget Office or an appropriate law enforcement agency where applicable.
- Employees, officers, and Board members may file ethics complaints anonymously and are protected from retaliation by the policies adopted by the Trust. While complainants are not required to identify themselves, identification is encouraged in the event additional questions arise during the course of the investigation. Complainants’ identities will be protected, unless they consent to disclosure or unless disclosure is compelled by law or pursuant to a court order.
To file an anonymous report of wrongdoing:
- For complaints concerning employees and officers, other than the Trust Executive Officer, contact the Trust Executive Officer, Archives Partnership Trust, 9C49 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230; 518-473-7091.
- For complaints concerning the Trust Executive Officer write (mark the envelope “Confidential”) either the: Trust Board Chair, Archives Partnership Trust, 9C49 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, or Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, 10A33 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230.
- For complaints concerning a Board member, contact the Trust Executive Officer or the Board member’s appointing authority.
- For any complaints, contact the State Inspector General, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 2,16th Floor, Albany, NY 12223; 1-800-367-4448.
- Should a Trust employee believe in good faith that disclosing information within the Trust pursuant to Section 3.A. above, would likely subject him or her to adverse personnel action or be wholly ineffective, the Trust employee may instead disclose the information to the Authorities Budget Office or an appropriate law enforcement agency, if applicable. The Authorities Budget Office’s toll free number (1-800-560-1770) should be used in such circumstances.
4. Retaliation or Interference
No Trust Employee shall retaliate against any whistleblower for the disclosure of potential wrongdoing, whether through threat, coercion, or abuse of authority; and, no Trust Employee shall interfere with the right of any other Trust Employee by any improper means aimed at deterring disclosure of potential wrongdoing. Any attempts at retaliation or interference are strictly prohibited and:
- No Trust Employee who in good faith discloses potential violations of the Trust’s Code of Ethics or other instances of potential wrongdoing, shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse personnel action.
- All allegations of retaliation against a Whistleblower or interference with an individual seeking to disclose potential wrongdoing will be thoroughly investigated by the Trust.
- Any Trust Employee who retaliates against or had attempted to interfere with any individual for having in good faith disclosed potential violations of the Trust’s Code of Ethics or other instances of potential wrongdoing is subject to discipline, which may include termination of employment.
- Any allegation of retaliation or interference will be taken and treated seriously and irrespective of the outcome of the initial complaint, will be treated as a separate matter.
5. Other Legal Rights Not Impaired
The Whistleblower Policy and Procedures set forth herein are not intended to limit, diminish or impair any other rights or remedies that an individual may have under the law with respect to disclosing potential wrongdoing free from retaliation or adverse personnel action.
- Specifically, these Whistleblower Policy and Procedures are not intended to limit any rights or remedies that an individual may have under the laws of the State of New York, including but not limited to the following provisions: Civil Service Law § 75-b, Labor Law § 740, State Finance Law § 191 (commonly known as the “False Claims Act”), and Executive Law § 55(1).
- With respect to any rights or remedies that an individual may have pursuant to Civil Service Law § 75-b or Labor Law § 740, any employee who wishes to preserve such rights shall prior to disclosing information to a government body, have made a good faith effort to provide the appointing authority or his or her designee the information to be disclosed and shall provide the appointing authority or designee a reasonable time to take appropriate action unless there is imminent and serious danger to public health or safety. (See Civil Service Law § 75-b[b]; Labor Law § 740).