University Policy Office
Approval: Approved by the President on August 4, 2005.
Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040
Responsibility: Internal Auditor
The conditions of this procedure apply to any fraudulent action or suspected fraudulent action involving fiscal or physical resources, and employees, students, vendors and/or individuals representing external agencies. Each member of the University of Central Missouri administration, including deans and department chairs, is responsible for detecting and reporting fraud as defined in this procedure. Administrators should be aware of fraudulent actions that can occur within their area of responsibility. Any fraudulent actions that are detected or suspected must be reported immediately to the internal auditor for assessment and possible investigation. The president or designee shall participate in the decision about how to proceed and who is to be involved in the investigation. If the president is suspected of involvement in the issues, the investigation shall proceed under the direction of the Board of Governors. The internal auditor will coordinate all investigations with the university Department of Public Safety, general counsel and/or other authorities, both internal and external, as appropriate.
The term “fraud” is defined to mean a knowing or intentional representation of fact which induces another to, in reliance upon it, surrender something of value or some legal right. A false representation of fact is that which, whether by words or conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, deceives and is intended to deceive another so that they shall act upon it to their legal injury.
Fraudulent actions include, but are not limited to any kind of artifice employed by one person to deceive another such as:
- forgery or alteration of any document or account belonging to a student or the university
- forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft or any other financial document
- misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or other assets
- deceptive practices in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
- accepting or seeking anything of material value from vendors or persons providing services/material to the university
- destruction or removal of records, both written and electronic, furniture, fixtures or equipment
- submitting a curriculum vitae, resume or other documents as part of a promotion, tenure or hiring that is deceptive
Questions as to whether an action constitutes fraud should be addressed to the internal auditor for guidance.
II. Investigation Responsibilities
The internal auditor, with assistance from the Department of Public Safety as appropriate, has the primary responsibility for the investigation. If the investigation reveals that fraudulent activities have occurred, the internal auditor will issue a report to the appropriate administrative officials, general counsel, and if appropriate, the Board of Governors.
Decisions to prosecute or involve appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for independent investigation will be made by the university president in consultation with the general counsel.
To the extent permitted by the Missouri Sunshine Law, the internal auditor may receive relevant information on a confidential basis from an employee who suspects fraudulent activity. (See REPORTING PROCEDURE below).
The results of investigations conducted by the internal auditor will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those persons associated with UCM who may have supervisory authority in the area under investigation and may have a reasonable need to know, as determined by the internal auditor and the president, in order to perform their duties and responsibilities.
VI. Authorization for Investigating Suspected Fraud
In those instances in which the internal auditor and the president believe it to be in the university’s best interest, the internal auditor has the authority and duty, after consulting with the president , to conduct a full investigation with or without knowledge or consent of any individual who may have custody of items important to the investigation. The internal auditor may:
- take control of and/or gain full access to all university premises, whether owned or leased
- examine, copy and/or take control of all or any portion of the contents of files, file cabinets, desks and other storage facilities. The appropriate custodian(s) will be provided copies of inventories of any documents or items removed for the investigation.
V. Reporting Procedures
An administrator who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity should contact the internal auditor immediately. Information should be given to the internal auditor and the administrator who suspects fraudulent activity should not attempt to conduct an investigation. The internal auditor must report to the president any investigative activity unless the president is a party to the suspected violation in which case the general counsel should be involved.
The reporting administrator must adhere to the following restrictions:
- Do not contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution.
- Do not discuss the case, facts, suspicions or allegations with anyone unless specifically asked to do so by the internal auditor.
VI. Retaliation Prohibited
It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against an employee who, in good faith, reports dishonest or fraudulent activity.
If an investigation results in a recommendation to sanction an individual, usual university processes and procedures will be applied.