Georgia College & State University is committed to the highest professional standards in administrative operations. Administrative officers and managers are responsible for guarding against fiscal irregularities and related misconduct and for ensuring the proper stewardship of resources entrusted to the university. Employees and students found to have engaged in fiscal or related misconduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions.
The University System of Georgia (USG) and GCSU has contracted with a third party to provide a System-wide solution for members of the GCSU community to report confidentially and anonymously any issues of concern or fiscal misconduct to management. This ensures that the campus can appropriately respond to items promptly. It provides flexibility to set up anonymous communications and feedback. Any reported fiscal misconduct concerns brought to the Office of Internal Audit or the hotline are followed through by the campus triage committee. The triage committee consists of Legal Affairs, Internal Audit, Human Resources and the Office of Inclusive Excellence and determines to the extent necessary the appropriate review or investigation. The committee may also make a recommendation to seek outside consultation from other GCSU and University System departments or outside agencies. In all fiscal misconduct related reports, it is the intent of the Office of Internal Audit to follow Section 16.4 of the BOR Business Procedures Manual. Questions & Answers – Fiscal Misconduct Policy
1. Why do we need a fiscal misconduct policy?
USG and GCSU are committed to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior and are continuously monitoring ways to improve internal controls that help manage risks. Therefore, USG implemented a System-wide mechanism (The Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline) to help its colleges and universities in reporting suspected instances of fiscal and related misconduct. As part of the implementation process, GCSU would like to explicitly establish a written policy, definitions, and investigative procedures, that will help assign responsibility and informs our stakeholders of channels to report concerns to management and the Office of Internal Audit.
2. What is fiscal misconduct?
Fiscal misconduct and related activities include violations of law, gross violations of Board of Regents and University fiscal policies and procedures, and unethical practices such as misrepresentation of credentials, conflict of interest, falsification or fabrication of official records or documents, intentional deception perpetrated to secure an unfair gain, etc.
3. Who is responsible for reporting claims of fiscal misconduct?
Administrators and all levels of management are responsible for preventing instances of fiscal irregularities and related misconduct. However, all employees play a role by refusing to condone or tolerate fiscal irregularities or related misconduct. The Office of Internal Audit is responsible for informing faculty, staff and students about avenues for reporting suspected instances of fiscal irregularity or related misconduct and for developing and publishing appropriate investigative procedures for suspected cases of fiscal misconduct.
4. Why do we have a separate hotline?
The University System of Georgia (USG) and Georgia College contracted with a separate third party to ensure we provide a System-wide solution for members of the GCSU community to report confidentially and anonymously any issues of concern or fiscal misconduct to management. By contracting with a separate third party to administer a hotline, it gives GCSU the flexibility to provide anonymous online communications and ensure each claim is responded to in an efficient and effective manner.
5. Where do I go to report suspected fiscal misconduct or an item of concern?
There are many channels to report your concerns. You can directly discuss matters with a supervisor or the campus triage committee. You can also use the Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline. You can access the hotline through Office of Internal Audit official website or directly at https://gcsu.alertline.com/gcs/welcome.
6. What is the triage committee, and who is on it?
The triage committee consists of Legal Affairs, Internal Audit, Human Resources and Institutional Equity and Diversity. This committee receives all reported incidents of concern and determines appropriate follow-up actions.
7. I'm afraid I'll lose my job if I report misconduct of my co-workers! What do I do?
The whistleblower statute, OCGA section 45-1-4, prohibits retaliation against state employees for disclosing a violation or noncompliance with laws, rules, or regulations. Additionally, employees can report misconduct through the hotline, which offers methods for anonymous and confidential reporting.
8. I am concerned that I do not have proper internal controls to manage risks in my department. Who can I ask to help?
The Office of Internal Audit offers advisory services which can give recommendations to help improve and manage risks within your department. The Office of Internal Audit also has a business assessment checklist for managers to complete for suggested control areas to review.
9. Will all concerns reported be investigated by the Office of Internal Audit?
In all cases, the claims reported will be viewed by the campus triage committee to determine the appropriate steps and to ensure follow-up is taken. Depending on the subject and severity of the claim, some claims might be handled administratively and corrected with communications to the appropriate unit head. Other claims might require an investigation by the Office of Internal Audit.
10. How do I know my concerns will be considered fairly?
The Office of Internal Audit is independent, reporting to the president administratively and to the associate vice chancellor and chief audit officer at the Board of Regents. Further, the Office of Internal Audit follows guidelines outlined in the GCSU Audit Charter which states the department will adhere to the Institute of Internal Auditors' "Code of Ethics."