147-64.6B. Reports of improper governmental activities.

(a) The Auditor shall provide various means, including a telephone hotline, electronic mail, and Internet access to receive reports of allegations of improper governmental activities. The Auditor shall periodically publicize the hotline telephone number, electronic mail address, Internet Web site address, and any other means by which the Auditor may receive reports of allegations of improper governmental activities. Individuals who make a report under this section may choose to remain anonymous until the individual affirmatively consents to having his or her identity disclosed.

(b) The Auditor shall investigate reports of allegations of improper governmental activities of State agencies and State employees within the scope of authority set forth in G.S. 147-64.6, including misappropriation, mismanagement, or waste of State resources, fraud, violations of State or federal law, rule or regulation by State agencies or State employees administering State or federal programs, and substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety. When the allegation involves issues of substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety, the Auditor shall notify the appropriate State agency immediately. When the Auditor believes that an allegation of improper governmental activity is outside the authority set forth in G.S. 147-64.6, the Auditor shall refer the allegation to the appropriate State agency responsible for the enforcement or administration of the matter for investigation. When the Auditor believes that an allegation of improper governmental activity involves matters set forth in subdivisions (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, those matters shall be referred as follows:

(1) Allegations of criminal misconduct to either the State Bureau of Investigation or the District Attorney for the county where the alleged misconduct occurred.

(2) Allegations of violations of Chapter 138A, Chapter 120C and Article 14 of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes to the State Ethics Commission.

(3) Allegations of violations of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes to the State Board of Elections.

(c) All records maintained by the Auditor of reports of unsubstantiated allegations of improper governmental activities shall be destroyed within four years from the date the unsubstantiated allegation was received. (2008-215, s. 1(b); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, ss. 3.1(a), (b), 6.1.)