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Preventing fraud at UCA

Posted: February 23, 2013 - 7:19pm

A new fraud policy, a hotline for employees to report fraud and the independent Office of Internal Audit will prevent fraud and ferret out future wrongdoing at the University of Central Arkansas, President Tom Courtway said during the Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

“We have all the circle complete,” Courtway said.

The university is beefing up its policies — including adding a new fraud policy — after an internal audit report in December revealed a wide-range of issues on campus, from malfunctioned surveillance cameras to an employee approving a scholarship worth thousands of dollars without proper documentation, between spring 2011 and spring 2012.

On Thursday, the Audit Committee approved “rolling out” the fraud hotline and notifying the campus the hotline is up and running. The hotline became active earlier this month. Students, faculty, staff, vendors and others can now report fraud any time, officials said.

“It gives people who suspect conduct that is not proper another venue and another way to make their complaint known,” Courtway said. “This (hotline) is a way for people to make a complaint anonymously if they suspect conduct that is wrong, for whatever reason.”

The next day, trustees approved the fraud policy meant to “promote consistent organizational behavior by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility for the development of prevention and detection controls and conduct of investigations,” according to a document at the Friday meeting.

The policy includes fraud as everything from theft to security breaches, forgery of university documents and misappropriation of funds. UCA employees and those doing business with UCA are required to report fraud, said Associate General Counsel Katie Henry.

Those reporting can do so anonymously, officials said.

The hotline, through Lighthouse Services, Inc., will cost UCA about $1,120 a year and is 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year, according to UCA documents.

During the Audit Committee, Internal Audit Director Pam Massey said the hotline has mechanisms in place to prevent false reporting. The fraud policy was based off of one at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and UCA looked at the University of Arkansas System’s hotline as a model, officials said.

To report fraud, people can use email, fax, the Lighthouse website or phone, according to UCA’s website.

(Staff writer Scarlet Sims can be reached by email at scarlet.sims@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

BREAK OUT

Students, employees and vendors at UCA can report fraud by:

Toll Free Hotline: 855-440-0002

Email: reports@lighthouse-services.com

Fax: 215-689-3885

Website: www.lighthouse-services.com/uca

For more info see: http://uca.edu/hotline/

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