COLUMBIA — A new reporting line will give University of Missouri System employees an alternative way to report known or suspected fraud or fiscal misconduct.
The Web- and telephone-based system, provided by Global Compliance, a corporation that offers ethics and compliance solutions, is effective immediately and will be available for use 24/7, according to a news release issued Monday by interim President Gordon Lamb.
According to the release, fiscal misconduct includes:
— Statements or actions that violate or conflict with internal policies, procedures or practices related to the detailed reporting of financial statements
— Unlawful gifts or bribes
— Theft or misappropriation of university property or assets
— Misuse of funds under grants or contracts
— Unauthorized alteration or destruction of financial documents or records
UM employees are currently encouraged to voice concerns of suspicious fiscal activity directly to their supervisor, said Nikki Krawitz, UM vice president for finance and administration. The reporting line provides an alternative method for employees who may be uncomfortable with that.
The reporting line concept stems from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which requires corporations to provide opportunities to report misconduct without retribution from the institution, Krawitz said.
Employees may choose to remain anonymous when making a report, an option that follows the recommendation put forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as UM’s internal auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, that organizations have confidential reporting systems, Krawitz said.
Reports received through the reporting line will be processed by Global Compliance and then sent to UM for investigation. Individuals have the option of following up on reports they’ve made.
Krawitz said UM has talked with other colleges and universities that have an external reporting system. When those institutions follow up on reports they’ve received, some lead to real incidents of misconduct, while others are miscommunications, Krawitz said.
Columbia University, the University of Iowa, Yale University and Michigan State University all have external reporting systems, said Nilufer Joseph, UM director of financial services.