Fraud is a deliberate illegal act, the concealment of the act and receipt of benefits (generally in the form of financial gain) from that act. All types of organizations are susceptible to fraud, even colleges and universities.
Types of Fraud, Waste and Abuse
Fraudulent acts include but are not limited to the following:
- making or altering documents or computer files with the intent to defraud
- purposefully inaccurate financial reporting
- misappropriation or misuse of University resources such as funds, supplies or other assets
- improper handling or reporting of cash transactions
- authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed
University administration is responsible for promoting and maintaining a rigorous environment in which strong internal controls are mandated and monitored. They have a legal and ethical obligation to adequately support fraud prevention and detection efforts, including the development of strong fraud and conflict of interest policies.
The University’s Office of Internal Audit has a responsibility to appraise the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls. We monitor compliance with policy, regulatory requirements and operating procedures and actively search for fraud during audit engagements.
The University’s employees are responsible for upholding its values and ethics in their actions. They should examine internal controls in their own operations and work with their supervisors to strengthen weak controls. They are obligated to report any suspicion or knowledge of unethical or fraudulent actions to the University’s Office of Internal Audit.
Strong internal controls should be designed to prevent fraud and/or detect fraud or misappropriation in a timely manner. The best controls cannot prevent all fraudulent activity, but a strong internal control system that includes a system of checks and balances, adequate processes and monitoring, can detect the activity timely. In addition to information provided at Internal Controls, some checklists and other resources to assist in the development of strong internal controls to adequately reduce the risk of fraud or misappropriation are included. For additional information on fraud prevention, or opportunities to improve on internal controls, contact the Office of Internal Audit.
Reporting Fraud, Waste and Abuse
University employees may disclose assertions of fraud, waste or abuse to the Office of Internal Audit. Although we cannot provide guarantees to safeguard anonymity of an employee making a claim, every effort is made to maintain the confidentiality. To report suspicions of abuse or fraudulent activities perpetrated by a state employee, please follow the guidelines to file a claim of employee misconduct. As noted, you may at any time contact Internal Audit directly to receive assistance or guidance in improving controls for the prevention and detection of fraud and/or if you have questions concerning improper activities.