Date Established: 2/19/2010
Date Last Revised: 4/21/2017
Administration and Governance
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Vice President for Finance and Administration
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The University at Buffalo will investigate and report suspected fraud and irregularities and will not tolerate retaliation against reporting employees.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) is committed to high standards of honest behavior, ethical conduct, and fiduciary responsibility. All members of the university community have a responsibility for stewardship of the university’s resources and are expected to report concerns if they have a reasonable basis for suspecting that fraud or other irregularities have occurred. The university will investigate reports of fraud or other irregularities.
Consistent with New York State laws, employees and individuals who lawfully report suspected fraud, irregularities, waste, or abuse will not suffer discharge, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment, discrimination, or other forms of retaliation for reporting good faith concerns. Reports of retaliation will be reviewed and investigated in the same manner in which other allegations of misconduct are handled. The university will provide appropriate support to employees who report concerns.
Individuals who report concerns of suspected fraud or irregularities must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for making the report. Allegations that prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false are not protected under the good faith standard, and therefore are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
The University at Buffalo is committed to the stewardship of its resources. Managers are expected to maintain a work environment that promotes ethical and honest behavior and follow policies and procedures to prevent and detect irregularities including fraud, waste, and abuse. Employees, at all levels, should be aware of the risks inherent in their areas of responsibility and incorporate procedures in their business practices to safeguard the resources entrusted to them.
This policy applies to reports of fraud or irregularities involving university employees, officers, trustees, campus-related entities, vendors, consultants, contractors, funding sources, and other parties with a relationship to the university including activities at auxiliary service corporations, alumni associations, student associations and governments, Research Foundation (RF), and UB Foundation (UBF).
For purposes of this policy, fraud and irregularities include activities that are:
· a misappropriation of assets
· in violation of or non-compliant with any university, State University of New York (SUNY), New York State, Research Foundation (RF), or federal law, regulation, policy, or procedure
· economically wasteful
· an indication of gross misconduct or incompetency
· an unethical, improper, or dishonest act.
Examples of fraud and irregularities involving any resources of the university, SUNY, RF, UBF, or state include but are not limited to:
· theft of any asset including but not limited to money, tangible property, trade secrets, or intellectual property
· misappropriation, misapplication, destruction, removal, or concealment of records, funds, supplies, furniture, fixtures, equipment, or other assets
· inappropriate use of computer systems, including hacking and software piracy
· unauthorized disclosure of confidential or proprietary information
· unauthorized disclosure of personal information, medical information, or student educational records
· authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked or not covered by appropriate and available leave (e.g., falsifying time records)
· deceptive financial reporting
· credit card and travel expense misuse or fraud
· use of staff to perform personal errands, services, or tasks
· alteration or falsification of a check, bank draft, account, or other university document
· false claims by employees, students, vendors, or others associated with the university
· bribery, kickbacks, bid rigging, and conflicts of interest
· falsifying research results
· violation of donor intent.
The good faith standard protects individuals who make a report, even if that report turns out to be incorrect; malicious or vindictive reporters who provide false information knowingly are not protected.
Reporting Fraud and Irregularities
Individuals are encouraged to attempt to resolve their concerns at the most local level by communicating with their supervisor or other appropriate person. If an individual feels uncomfortable addressing their concerns at the local level, is not satisfied with the supervisor’s response, or does not have a supervisor (e.g., student, trustee), they may contact:
|Fraud and Irregularities - Reporting Options|
|Your supervisor||As appropriate|
|Provost, vice president, dean||As appropriate|
|Internal Audit||Phone: 716-829-6950|
|UB EthicsPoint Reporting Hotline and Website||https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/48992/index.html|
|University Police||Phone: 716-645-2222
|University Police Silent Witness Reporting||https://buffalo.edu/police/forms/silent-witness-report
|Research Foundation Ethics Hotline||Phone: 800-670-7225
|University at Buffalo Foundation Executive Director||Phone: 716-645-3013|
When reporting suspected fraud or irregularities, provide as much detail as possible, including a description of the incident, individuals involved, and financial loss, if any. The report may be submitted anonymously, however providing contact information may be helpful if questions arise. All reports will be reviewed objectively and without regard to the suspected individual’s length of service, position, title, or relationship with the university. The university will make every effort to maintain confidentiality throughout the investigation, to the extent permitted by law. Due to the confidential nature of certain actions of the university as part of the investigation process, the reporting individual may not be informed of the status and resolution of the matter.
Individuals who receive a report of suspected fraud or irregularities where sufficient facts and circumstances exist to create a reasonable suspicion that a fraud or irregularity has occurred, must immediately notify Internal Audit or the Chief of Staff to the VPFA who will consider the allegations, gather additional information, and coordinate an investigation, as appropriate.
Updated the policy to:
|April 2016||Full review. Revised to maintain compliance with the SUNY Procedure on Reporting and Reviewing Fraud and Irregularities.