Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

False Claims Against the State

MnDOT Policy FM002
View/print signed policy (PDF)

Policy statement

Employees of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must report suspected violations of the Minnesota False Claims Act to the employee’s supervisor, the MnDOT Office of Chief Counsel, or by completing MnDOT’s anonymous Report Wrongdoing/Questionable Activity Form.

Reason for policy

  • Provide a summary of the Minnesota False Claims Act;
  • Provide guidance for MnDOT employees; and
  • Adopt a procedure for MnDOT to use to assess possible false claims.

Who needs to know this policy

All MnDOT employees must comply with the False Claims against the State policy. Every manager and supervisor, who receives a report of a suspected violation of the False Claims Act from an employee, must report the suspected violation to the Office of Chief Counsel.

Procedures

Investigation of suspected violations

The Office of Chief Counsel must investigate suspected violations of the Minnesota False Claims Act (MFCA). In its investigation, the Office of Chief Counsel must consult the MnDOT Office of Audit and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Presentation of investigation findings

The MnDOT Office of Chief Counsel must present findings of its investigations to the False Claims Act Panel (FCAP). The presentation must include, at a minimum, the nature of the claim, the statutory basis for liability, the claimant’s possible defenses and relevant records and documents.

  • The FCAP is composed of three (3) MnDOT personnel appointed by the Deputy Commissioner. The first FCAP consists of MnDOT’s Chief Counsel, Audit Office Director, and Assistant Chief Counsel.
  • MnDOT’s Chief Counsel will convene the FCAP when necessary.
  • The FCAP will present its recommendation to MnDOT’s Deputy Commissioner.

Management of investigation records

The Office of Chief Counsel will maintain the records of the investigation, the recommendation from FCAP and information about the status of individual investigations.

Forms/instructions

An employee may satisfy the reporting requirement by completing MnDOT’s anonymous Report Wrongdoing/Questionable Activity Form.

Office of Audit, Mail Stop #190
395 John Ireland Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899

Definitions

For definitions regarding the Minnesota False Claims Act, refer to Minnesota Statutes §15C.01.

Person

Person means a natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity but does not include the state or a political subdivision.

Political subdivision

Political subdivision means a political subdivision of the state and includes a department or agency of a political subdivision.

Prosecuting attorney

Prosecuting attorney means the attorney general, if the false or fraudulent claim involves money, property, or services provided by the state; or the county attorney, city attorney, or other attorney representing a political subdivision, if the false or fraudulent claim involves money, property, or services provided by the political subdivision.

State

State means the state of Minnesota and includes a department or agency of the state.

Responsibilities

Office of Chief Counsel

  • The office investigates possible violations of the Minnesota False Claims Act.
  • The office consults with the MnDOT Audit Office and the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General.
  • The office maintains records of the investigation, including the recommendation of the FCAP and the status of individual investigations.

Employees

Employees have a duty to report possible false claims to their supervisor or the Office of Chief Counsel, or MnDOT’s anonymous Report Wrongdoing/Questionable Activity Form.

Chief Counsel

  • The Chief Counsel directs the investigation of possible false claims.
  • The Chief Counsel convenes the FCAP when necessary and serves on the first FCAP.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is a false claim?

A: Refer to Minnesota Statutes §15C.01.

Q: What types of acts qualify as a false claim?

A: Refer to Minnesota Statutes §15C.02 (a).

Q: How do I report a false claim?

A: Employees can report possible false claims to their supervisor, the Office of Chief Counsel, or via MnDOT’s anonymous Report Wrongdoing/Questionable Activity Form.

Q: Why do I have a duty to report false claims?

A: The MnDOT Code of Ethics Policy holds MnDOT employees “to a high standard of conduct and level of scrutiny.” As such, employees are required to report possible false claims.

Related information

Minnesota Statutes §15C, False Claims against the State
Minnesota Statutes §15C.02 (a) (1-7) Liability for Certain Acts
Minnesota Statutes §15C.13 Distribution to Private Plaintiff in Certain Actions
Minnesota Statutes §181.932 Disclosure of Information by Employees
MnDOT Code of Ethics Policy
MnDOT Audit Office Authority Functions Policy
Report Wrongdoing/Questionable Activity Form

History of policy updates or amendments

Amended

Policy FM002 – False Claims against the State, established 8-8-2012

  • Comprehensive review, minor revisions, changes, and updates made to the policy to reflect organizational changes and to make it consistent with other administrative policies.
  • The false claims provisions of the Minnesota False Claims Act, Minnesota Statutes §15C was modified in the 2013. Changes to the False Claims Act bring state law into conformance with federal standards.
    • Change/update: Responsible Senior Officer, Policy Owner, Policy Contact
    • Change/update: Signature page

Ownership

Responsible Senior Officer

Tracy Hatch
Deputy Commissioner/COO/CFO
tracy.hatch@state.mn.us
651-366-4811

Policy Owner

Elizabeth M. Parker
Chief Counsel
elizabeth.parker@state.mn.us
651-366-4841

Policy Contact

James Cownie
Assistant Chief Counsel
Construction & Contract Management Section
james.cownie@state.mn.us
651-366-3024