Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
The NYSED is interested in information pertaining to fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of local, state, or federal education funds (including information on vendors who receive education funds).
Fraud is defined as the intentional deception by an individual (or individuals) or organization(s), which could result in a benefit to themselves or others and may or may not cause detriment to others. Fraud includes false representation of fact (whether by words or conduct), making false or misleading statements, or by concealment of something that should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive.
Waste is defined as the thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use, or squandering of resources to the detriment (or potential detriment) to the NYSED and/or the entity(s) involved. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs resulting from inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.
Abuse is defined as excessive or improper use of a thing, or to use something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use. Examples include the intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, misapplication, maltreatment, or misuse of the NYSED's resources; or extravagant or excessive use as to abuse one's position or authority. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.
Both the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education take these concerns very seriously. Once an allegation of fraud, waste, or abuse is received, the NYSED will take the following actions:
- Conduct a preliminary assessment, with one of the following three results:
- Close the case.
- Forward your information to a more appropriate agency or authority.
- Begin an audit or review.
What to Expect After Submitting a Complaint
- If you provide your contact information, you will receive an acknowledgement notice advising you we received your complaint. That acknowledgment notice will provide you with a case number, which can be used if you have any more information you wish to share with us after you submit your case. Please reference your case number when submitting additional information to our office.
- We cannot provide information regarding what action(s) have been taken on any allegation reported to our office.
- Unless you are contacted directly by one of our program areas, there will be no communication from our office other than receiving an acknowledgement notice advising you we received your case.
- Under no circumstances will our office provide you with the status of action taken on any allegation. The information you provide will be processed according to our policies and guidelines, and appropriate action will be taken, as determined.
Filing an Anonymous Complaint
- You may file your complaint anonymously by either leaving the Contact Information section blank or by including a request to remain anonymous in the Complaint section of the Fraud-Waste-Abuse Reporting Form.
- If you refrain from entering contact information on the form, please be advised that you will not receive an acknowledgment notice from the NYSED.
- If contact information is provided and the complaint includes a request for the filer to remain anonymous, an acknowledgement notice will be sent, but the contact information will not be shared with anyone outside of the Office of Audit Services, to the extent permitted by law.
How to Report
If you have information you would like to report to the NYSED you may choose any one of the following reporting methods*:
- Fraud-Waste-Abuse Reporting Form
- Mail: New York State Education Department
Office of Audit Services, Room 471 EBA
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
*Please Note: If you submit your allegation via USPS mail, there may be a delayed response.
Filing a 310 Appeal or Filing a 306 Appeal
Education Law §310 provides that persons considering themselves aggrieved by an action taken at a school district meeting or by school authorities may appeal to the Commissioner of Education for a review of such action. A §310 appeal must be initiated within 30 days of the decision or action complained of, unless the delay is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown in the petition.
Education Law §306 allows the Commissioner of Education to remove a trustee, member of a board of education and certain other school officers for willful misconduct or neglect of duty. An application for removal must also be initiated within 30 days of the decision or action complained of, and must contain evidence of willful, intentional wrongdoing.
Additional information regarding §310 and §306 appeals, including general instructions and sample forms, may be found at https://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals
Tips for submitting information