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Internal Audit

East Tennessee State University

Report Suspected Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

Reporting Fraud, Waste, or Abuse Policy

FWA Brochure

Who Can Report Suspected Fraud, Waste, or Abuse?
Whether you are a part of management, faculty, staff, a student, or an interested citizen, we encourage you to report known or suspected fraud, waste, or abuse by employees, outside contractors, or vendors.
What Are My Reporting Options?

State law requires that East Tennessee State University (ETSU) provide a means by which students, employees, or others may report known or suspected fraud, waste, or abuse.

Several options are available to all ETSU employees, students, and others for reporting known or suspected fraud, waste, or abuse.

You may report your concerns to:

  • Your supervisor or an ETSU official
    • If you are a supervisor or official and you receive a report of fraud, waste, or abuse, contact the ETSU Office of Internal Audit at (423) 439-6155 for further assistance.
  • ETSU's Office of Internal Audit
  • Tennessee Comptroller's Hotline for Fraud, Waste, or Abuse
What Actions Should I Report?

Activities such as the following, either known or suspected, should be reported:

  • Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other institutional resources
  • Forgery or alterations 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 Board's Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Authorization or receipt of compensation for hours not worked
 What is the Typical Process for an Investigation?

When Internal Audit receives allegations of dishonesty or other irregularity by an employee, outside contractor, or vendor, the Department of Internal Audit is required to conduct an investigation.

Supervisors should not attempt to conduct investigations nor 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.

Who Does the Department of Internal Audit Report To? 
The Department of Internal Audit has reporting responsibility to the Audit Committee of the ETSU Board of Trustees. This reporting relationship enables Internal Audit staff to independently and objectively review matters involving any level of administration.
 Who is Responsible for Preventing Fraud, Waste, or Abuse?

Management is responsible for establishing and implementing systems and procedures to prevent and detect fraud, waste, or abuse.

The basic elements of a proper control system include:

  • Creating a culture of honesty and high ethics
  • Evaluating risks and implementing processes, procedures, and controls to prevent, deter, and detect fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Developing an appropriate oversight process

Management at all levels should review the information that is available from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the document, Management Antifraud Programs and Controls: Guidance to Help Prevent and DeterFraud. 

Please contact ETSU's Office of Internal Audit if you need assistance in reviewing risks, processes, procedures and controls, or in providing fraud, waste, and abuse training at (423) 439-6155.

 What are the Protections for the Reporting Individual?
 As Internal Audit investigates allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse, the reporting individual's confidentiality is protected under Tennessee Code Annotated Title 8, Chapter 50, Section 116 unless subject to court action requiring disclosure. If ETSU has a separate legal obligation to investigate the complaint (e.g. complaints of illegal harassment or discrimination), the institution cannot guarantee anonymity or complete confidentiality. State law prohibits discrimination or retaliation of any kind against employees who report, in good faith, allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse.
What Should the Level of Certainty be Before Reporting FWA?
 Before making allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse, be reasonably certain of any claims. Such allegations could seriously and negatively impact the accused individual's life and adversely affect the working environment of the department.


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