Michigan State University
Controller's Office

Administration Bldg
426 Auditorium Rd, Rm 305
East Lansing, MI 48824
517 355-5020

Fiscal Misconduct Reporting and Hotline

Last updated: March 2012

I. Reporting Guidelines

Purpose:

These Guidelines have been established to help protect the assets and other interests of Michigan State University.  The Guidelines are intended to help employees recognize fiscal misconduct, encourage employees to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct, and provide a coordinated approach for review and resolution of possible fiscal misconduct situations.

Definitions:

Fiscal misconduct means a deliberate act or failure to act regarding a fiscal matter, contrary to law, rule, or University policy, with the intent to obtain an unauthorized benefit, which results in loss or other damage to the University. Fiscal misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Embezzlement, theft, or misappropriation of University funds, goods, property (including intellectual property), services, or other resources
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed, receiving compensation for hours not worked, receiving reimbursement for expenses not incurred or reimbursement for expenses not incurred for University purposes
  • Fraud, forgery, or unauthorized alteration of financial documents or records
  • Improper handling or reporting of financial transactions

Questions about possible fiscal misconduct should be directed to the Director of Internal Audit (517-355-5036).

General Guidelines:

All administrators, faculty members, support staff, and other employees should promptly report any known or suspected fiscal misconduct by contacting the Director of Internal Audit Hotline or by phone (517-355-5036).  The University has also established a toll-free confidential hotline (1-800-763-0764) and web reporting system that can be used to anonymously report known or suspected misconduct (see following pages for "Frequently Asked Questions" regarding the confidential Hotline and Web Reporting System).

The University prohibits retaliation against an employee who makes a report, in good faith, of known or suspected fiscal misconduct.  Any employee who makes a false allegation of fiscal misconduct with the intent to disrupt University business or to cause harm to another individual may be subject to disciplinary action.

All employees are required to cooperate fully with those performing an investigation into possible fiscal misconduct.  An employee who suspects fiscal misconduct should not attempt to conduct an investigation on his or her own.

The University may take disciplinary action, pursuant to existing University policies and collective bargaining agreements, against any employee who commits fiscal misconduct. Criminal charges may also be brought against a University employee who commits certain acts of fiscal misconduct.

II. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Michigan State University's Fiscal Misconduct Hotline (For Web Reporting see Section III below)

What is the Fiscal Misconduct Hotline?
The Fiscal Misconduct Hotline is a toll-free number (1-800-763-0764) you can call any time from anywhere to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct at Michigan State University.  You may remain anonymous when you make the report.
What is the Hotline's purpose?
The purpose of the Hotline is to provide employees with a method of reporting known or suspected fiscal misconduct, in case they prefer not to use regular administrative channels for such reports.  While you can always report known or suspected fiscal misconduct directly to your immediate supervisor, or to the Director of Internal Audit Hotline, or by phone at 517-355-5036, the University recognizes that you may not always be comfortable doing that. For this reason, the University has made the Hotline available.
How does the Hotline work?
The University contracts with a private company, The Network, Inc., to provide the Hotline service. The Hotline is staffed with personnel specially trained to interview callers to the Hotline.  University employees do not answer calls to the Hotline.  When you call the Hotline, you will be asked to describe the known or suspected fiscal misconduct in as much detail as possible.  You do not need to tell the interviewer who you are.  Upon completion of your call, the interviewer will promptly relay the information you provide to the University's Director of Internal Audit.
What types of situations should be reported to the Hotline?
Calls to the Hotline should be made in good faith to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct.  See the University's Fiscal Misconduct Guidelines. Typical calls would pertain to misuse of University property, time or expense abuses, and fraud, theft, or embezzlement.  This list is not all-inclusive, so refer to University's Fiscal Misconduct Guidelines for further guidance.
Are all calls to the Hotline accepted?
Although the Hotline was established to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct, any type of allegation or complaint that is made will be reported to the University.  The Hotline, however, is not intended for handling employee grievances, such as complaints concerning working conditions, performance evaluations, hours of work, wages, or merit raises.
What if I only suspect something is wrong?
You can call the Hotline when you know about fiscal misconduct or when you only suspect it.  The Hotline interviewer will take the information you provide and forward it immediately to the University's Director of Internal Audit.
Should I attempt to investigate the facts of the situation before calling the Hotline?
No. You should not contact the individual(s) you suspect of fiscal misconduct in an effort to determine the facts or to seek restitution.
Am I required to identify myself when I call the Hotline?
No.  You do not have to reveal your identity to the Hotline interviewer.   No one will know you called unless you tell someone you called or you willingly identify yourself during the call.  The Hotline does not have caller ID capability.
What legal protection do I have if I give my name when I make a report through the Hotline?
The University prohibits retaliation against employees who make reports, in good faith, of known or suspected fiscal misconduct.

III. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Michigan State University's Fiscal Misconduct Web Reporting System (for Hotline refer to Section II above)

What is the Fiscal Misconduct Web Reporting System?
The Fiscal Misconduct Web Reporting System is a confidential and anonymous web site established to provide a mechanism to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct at Michigan State University.
What is the Web Reporting System's purpose?
The purpose of the reporting service is to provide employees with a method of reporting known or suspected fiscal misconduct, in case they prefer not to use regular administrative channels for such reports. While you can always report known or suspected fiscal misconduct directly to your immediate supervisor, or to the Director of Internal Audit Hotline, or by phone at 517-355-5036, the University recognizes that you may not always be comfortable doing that. For this reason, the University has made the web reporting system available in addition to the hotline discussed in the preceding section.
How does the Web Reporting System work?
The University contracts with a private company, The Network, Inc., to provide the reporting service. The Web Reporting System is activated by completing the Web Report Form with all required information. The web system does not track visitors to the site. You can choose to provide your name or remain anonymous.
What types of situations should be reported to the Web Reporting System?
Use of the Web Reporting System should be made in good faith to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct. See the University's Fiscal Misconduct Guidelines. Typical reports would pertain to misuse of University property, time or expense abuses, and fraud, theft, or embezzlement. This list is not all-inclusive, so refer to University's Fiscal Misconduct Guidelines for further guidance.
Are any types of reports accepted by the reporting system?
The Web Reporting System was established to report known or suspected fiscal misconduct. As a result, the options for reporting are limited to those that are related to this type of allegation or complaint.
What if I only suspect something is wrong?
You can use the Web Reporting System when you know about fiscal misconduct or when you only suspect it. The Network will immediately forward whatever information is provided to the University's Director of Internal Audit.
Should I attempt to investigate the facts of the situation before submitting a report?
No. You should not contact the individual(s) you suspect of fiscal misconduct in an effort to determine the facts or to seek restitution.
Am I required to identify myself when accessing the reporting system?
No. You do not have to reveal your identity. No one will know you have submitted a report unless you tell someone you have. Visitors to the website are not tracked.
What legal protection do I have if I give my name when I make a report using the Web Reporting System?
The University prohibits retaliation against employees who make reports, in good faith, of known or suspected fiscal misconduct.