A. From such funds as may be authorized by the General Assembly, there is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund, hereafter referred to as “the Fund.” The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and shall be administered by the State Inspector General. All moneys recovered by the State Inspector General as the result of whistle blower activity and alerts originating with the Office of the State Inspector General shall be deposited in the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Except as provided in subsection B, any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely to (i) provide monetary rewards to persons who have disclosed information of wrongdoing or abuse under this chapter and the disclosure results in a recovery of at least $5,000 or (ii) support the administration of the Fund, defray Fund advertising costs, or subsidize the operation of the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline (previously known as the State Employee Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline).

Terms Used In Virginia Code 2.2-3014

  • Abuse: means an employer's or employee's conduct or omissions that result in substantial misuse, destruction, waste, or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from federal, state, or local government sources. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Employee: means any person who is regularly employed full time on either a salaried or wage basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of and whose compensation is payable, no more often than biweekly, in whole or in part, by a governmental agency. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Governmental agency: means (i) any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch listed in the appropriation act and any independent agency; (ii) any county, city, or town or local or regional governmental authority; and (iii) any local school division as defined in § 22. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • State: when applied to a part of the United States, includes any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. See Virginia Code 1-245
  • Whistle blower: includes a citizen of the Commonwealth who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or abuse and who makes or demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is about to make a good faith report of, or testifies or is about to testify to, the wrongdoing or abuse to an appropriate authority. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Wrongdoing: means a violation, which is not of a merely technical or minimal nature, of a federal or state law or regulation, local ordinance, or a formally adopted code of conduct or ethics of a professional organization designed to protect the interests of the public or employee. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010

B. By the end of each calendar quarter and upon authorization of the State Inspector General, 85 percent of all sums recovered shall be remitted to the institutions or governmental agencies on whose behalf the recovery was secured by the State Inspector General unless otherwise directed by a court of law. Each such institution or governmental agency on whose behalf the recovery was secured by the State Inspector General shall receive an amount equal to 85 percent of the actual amount recovered by the State Inspector General on its behalf.

C. The amount of the reward shall be up to 10 percent of the actual sums recovered by the Commonwealth as a result of the disclosure of the wrongdoing or abuse. Regardless of the sums recovered, at no time shall the amount of any reward, even if less than 10 percent, exceed the balance of the Fund. Reward disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the State Inspector General. In the event that multiple whistle blowers contemporaneously report the same qualifying incident or occurrence of wrongdoing or abuse, the State Inspector General in his sole discretion may split the reward of up to 10 percent among the multiple whistle blowers. The decision of the State Inspector General regarding the allocation of the rewards shall be final and binding on all parties and shall not be appealable.

D. Five percent of all sums recovered shall be retained in the Fund to support the administration of the Fund, defray advertising costs, and subsidize the operation of the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline. Expenditures for administrative costs for management of the Fund shall be managed as approved by the State Inspector General.

E. The Office of the State Inspector General shall promulgate regulations for the proper administration of the Fund including eligibility requirements and procedures for filing a claim. The Office of the State Inspector General shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly summarizing the activities of the Fund.

2009, c. 340; 2011, cc. 798, 871; 2013, cc. 572, 690; 2014, c. 403; 2016, c. 292.