Preventing Fraud, Waste, or Abuse in Your Department
University management is responsible for establishing and implementing systems and procedures to prevent and detect fraud, waste, or abuse. You can take a proactive approach to preventing fraud by implementing the proper internal controls. For example:
- Create a culture of honesty and high ethics
- Evaluate current processes and controls
- Develop an appropriate oversight process
Management at all levels of the University should review the information available from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the document Management Anti-fraud Programs and Controls: Guidance to Help Prevent and Deter Fraud. See the Management Anti-Fraud Document.
Please contact Audit and Consulting Services at (615) 898-2914 if you need assistance in reviewing risks, processes, procedures, or controls or in providing internal control training.
Reporting Fraud, Waste, or Abuse
The University is committed to the responsible stewardship of resources; and state law requires all public institutions of higher education to provide a means by which employees, students, or others may report suspected or known fraud, waste or abuse.
Whether you are part of departmental management, a faculty or staff member, a student,
or an interested citizen, University leaders encourage you to report known or suspected
fraud, waste or abuse by employees, outside contractors, or vendors.
What Should I Report?
Dishonest acts, either known or suspected, should be reported, such as:
- Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other University resources
- Forgery or alteration of documents
- Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files
- Improper and wasteful activity
- Falsification of reports to management or external agencies
- Pursuit of a benefit or advantage in violation of the University's conflict of interests policy
- Authorization or receipt of compensation for hours not worked
Think Before You Speak
Before making allegations of fraud, waste or abuse, be sure of any claims. Such allegations can seriously affect the accused person's life and adversely affect the working environment in the person's department.
Several options are available to all University employees, students, and others for reporting known or suspected fraud, waste or abuse. You may report your concerns to the following:
- Your supervisor or department head
- An official at the University
- Audit and Consulting Services by phone at (615) 898-2914 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Tennessee Board of Regents by e-mail at: ReportFraud@tbr.edu
- The Tennessee Comptroller's Hotline for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454
If you are a supervisor, department head, or campus official and you receive a report of fraud, waste or abuse, do not investigate, but contact Audit and Consulting Services at (615) 898-2914 for further assistance.
When the Office of Audit and Consulting Services receives allegations of fraud, waste or abuse by an employee, outside contractor, or vendor, it is required to conduct an investigation.
Departmental management should NOT attempt to conduct investigations or alert suspected employees of an impending investigation.
In an investigation, objectives include verifying the facts, maintaining objectivity and confidentiality, determining responsibility, and recommending corrective actions to help ensure that similar actions do not occur in the future.
Protection under State Law
As Audit and Consulting Services investigates allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse, the reporting individual's confidentiality is protected under Tennessee Code Annotated Title 10, Chapter 7 (subject to court action requiring disclosure). If MTSU has a separate legal obligation to investigate the compliant (e.g., complaints of illegal harassment or discrimination) MTSU cannot guarantee anonymity or complete confidentiality. State law prohibits discrimination or retaliation of any kind against employees who report, in good faith, alleged wrongdoing.
Audit and Consulting Services has reporting responsibility to the Audit Committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents through the Director of System-wide Internal Audit. This reporting relationship enables Audit and Consulting Services to independently and objectively review matters involving any level of administration at the University.
For any fraud awareness concerns, please contact:
Brenda Burkhart, Director
Audit and Consulting Services
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office (615) 898-2914
Fax: (615) 904-8046