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Summary of Higher Education Risk Factors

The following information is a summary from a white paper that was published in 2004 from EthicsPoint. The data was outlined and defined by fraud auditors and higher education professionals. The categories and specific risks are intended to be used to better identify and track issues across the institution. While the summary may not address every single risk in all areas across the university, it does cover many critical areas and provides an effective framework to begin a risk analysis.

 

 

FINANCIAL RISKS

 VIOLATION TYPE

 DESCRIPTION

Accounting and Auditing Matters

The unethical systematic recording and analysis of the business and financial transactions associated with generally accepted accounting practices. Examples include misstatement of assets, misapplications of GAAP principles, wrongful transactions.

 

Falsification of Contracts, Reports or Records

Falsification of records consists of altering, fabricating, falsifying, or forging all or any part of a document, contract or record for the purpose of gaining an advantage, or misrepresenting the value of the document, contract or record. Examples include financial aid documents and vendor contracts.

 

Fraud

The intentional misrepresentation or concealment of information in order to deceive, mislead, or acquire something of value. A fraud is an intentional deception perpetrated to secure an unfair gain. Examples include violation of policy and sabotage.

 

Improper Giving or Receiving of Gifts

The giving, receiving or solicitation or items which could be reasonably interpreted as an effort to influence a business relationship or decision; items given, received or solicited for the benefit of an individual or an individual’s family or friends; items given, received or solicited during or in connection with contract negotiations; the acceptance of cash, checks, money orders, vouchers, gift certificates, loans, products or services.

 

Improper Supplier or Contractor Activity

Supplier or contractor activity in violation of the institution’s policies and procedures; improper supplier or contractor selection based on personal gain, improper negotiation or diversion of contract awards.

 

Misuse of Donor Funds

Improper use of donor funds.

 

Theft or Embezzlement

The act of stealing; specifically, the felonious taking and removing of property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. To appropriate (as property entrusted to one’s care) fraudulently to one’s own use. Examples include bookkeeping errors, misapplication of funds, and mishandling of cash.

 

Waste, Abuse, or Misuse of Institute Resources

Improper or unauthorized use of the institute’s resources and technologies for personal gain.

 

 

 

 

RESEARCH RISKS

  VIOLATION TYPE

  DESCRIPTION

Conflict of Interest

A situation in which a person or a family member has a financial interest or non-financial interest that may compromise, or provide the incentive to compromise, the behavior in the conduct of the person’s duties at the institution, the person’s influence on decisions that the institution may make, or the person’s influence over his or her associates outside the institution. A conflict of interest may be real, potential, or apparent.

 

Data Privacy

Refers to the technical, contractual, administrative and physical steps taken by the institution to protect against unauthorized access to and disclosure of personally identifiable data of employees and customers and other third parties that we possess.

 

Environmental and Safety Matters

Failure to meet the requirements of any applicable law, rule or regulation relating to the environment, working conditions or workplace safety, including, without limitation, regulations promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and similar agencies in other jurisdictions. Examples include biohazard, biosafety, and radiation.

 

Falsification of Contracts, Reports or Records

Falsification of records consists of altering, fabricating, falsifying or forging all or any part of a document, contract or record for the purpose of gaining any advantage or misrepresenting the value of the document, contract or record.

 

Fraud

The intentional misrepresentation or concealment of information in order to deceive, mislead, or acquire something of value. A fraud is an intentional deception perpetrated to secure an unfair gain. Examples include embezzlement, violation of policy, theft, and sabotage.

 

Intellectual Property Infringement, Misappropriation or Disclosure

Any unauthorized or inappropriate use, misappropriation or disclosure of confidential information (in any form) or intellectual property belonging to the institution or any institution’s customer, supplier or business partner, including, without limitation, any intellectual property protected under any U.S. or other laws relating to copyrights, patents or trade secrets. Also includes any unauthorized or inappropriate use of any institution computer system.

 

Human or Animal Research

Inappropriate use of humans or animals involved in research.

 

Research Grant Misconduct or Misappropriation of Costs

Unallowable or questionable expenditures or cost transfers to government grants, contracts, or other agreements. Any expenditures or cost transfers that may be in violation of OMB Circular A-21.

 

Scientific Misconduct

Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reprinting them. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results, such that the research is not accurately reported in the research period. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

 

Theft/Embezzlement

The act of stealing, specifically, the felonious taking and removal of property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. To appropriate (as property entrusted to one’s care) fraudulently to one’s own use. Examples are bookkeeping errors, misapplication of funds, mishandling of cash.

 

Waste, Abuse or Misuse of Institute Resources

Improper or unauthorized use of the institute’s resources and technologies for personal gain.

 

 

 

HUMAN RESOURCES RISKS

  VIOLATION TYPE

  DESCRIPTION

Discrimination or Harassment

Uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct directed at an employee because of sex, religion, ethnicity or beliefs. Examples include bias in hiring, assignments, promotions, educational decisions, unfair compensation, inappropriate language, wrongful termination, retaliation or retribution.

 

EEOC or ADA Matters

Failure to meet requirements as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Examples include nepotism and proper disability access.

 

Employee Misconduct

Involves any employee conduct that is in violation of the institution’s code of conduct, ethics policy, faculty handbook or any other printed materials that constitute employee conduct. Time abuse concerns about an employee or manager who are falsifying his/her work hours.

 

Offensive or Inappropriate Communication

The use of inflammatory, derogatory, unduly critical or insulting communication to a staff person, faculty, administrator, alumni or student.

 

Sexual Harassment

The making of unwanted and offensive sexual advances or of sexually offensive remarks or acts, especially by one in a superior or supervisory position or when acquiescence to such behavior is a condition of continued employment, promotion, or satisfactory evaluation.

 

Threat or Inappropriate Supervisor Directive

Improper use of supervisory authority in response to employee taking action or refusing to take action. Inappropriate management practices.

 

Unsafe Working Conditions

Failure of meeting requirements needed to perform all duties in a secure environment. Potential areas of harm. Examples include environmental damage, OSHA, EPA, supervisor directive, poor housekeeping.

 

Violence or Threat

An expression of the intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage to a person or their property.

 

 

 

ATHLETICS RISKS

VIOLATION TYPE

DESCRIPTION

Fraudulent Activities

Activities to influence the outcome of sports activities; organized gambling

 

Improper Giving or Gifts

Giving, receiving or solicitation of items which could be reasonably interpreted as an effort to influence a recruiting decision; items given, received or solicited for the benefit of an individual or an individual’s family or friends; items given, received or solicited during or in connection with signing negotiations; the acceptance of cash, checks, money orders, vouchers, gift certificates, loans, vehicles or transportation.

 

Inappropriate Activities

Interaction of consultants with student athletes on or off the field.

 

Misuse of Assets, Players or Endorsements

Use of college sports equipment, uniforms or any other items owned by the institution for personal activities. Improper talent scout activity; arranging meetings between current or former players with talent scouts; taking money for arranging introductions with scouts.

 

Recruiting Misconduct

Phone calls or unauthorized visits outside the recruiting period; undue duress or influence from alumni, trustee or unauthorized personnel; recruiting players outside amateur status.

 

Scholarship/Financial Aid Misconduct

Falsifying entrance or placement exams; utilizing an assumed name; improper inducement of benefits or financial aid. Unusual treatment for one player and not for others in loans, transportation or housing benefits; arranging for fraudulent academic credit or falsification of transcripts.

 

Sexual Misconduct

The making of unwanted and offensive sexual advances or of sexually offensive remarks or acts, by associates or superiors.

 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is defined as the misuse of both legal and illegal drugs including alcohol. Examples include narcotics, marijuana, stimulants or steroids.

 

 

SAFETY RELATED RISKS

  VIOLATION TYPE

  DESCRIPTION

Confidentiality

Confidentiality refers to the protection of the institute’s and our customer’s non-public information and use of such information only for legitimate business purposes.

 

Data Privacy

Refers to the technical, contractual, administrative and physical steps taken by the institution to protect against unauthorized access to and disclosure of personally identifiable data of employees and customers and other third parties that we possess.

 

Disclosure of Confidential Information

Unauthorized and unlawful disclosure of corporately owned intellectual property or trade secrets, as well as employee, customer or consumer information, marketing and other institute data bases, marketing plans, business proposals and strategies.

 

Environmental and Safety Matters

Failure to meet the requirements of any applicable law, rule or regulation relating to the environment, working conditions or workplace safety, including, without limitation, regulation promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Environmental protection Agency, and similar agencies in other jurisdictions.

 

Improper Supplier or Contractor Activity

Supplier or contractor activity in violation of the institute’s policies and procedures; improper supplier or contractor selection based on personal gain, improper negotiation or diversion of contract awards.

 

Improper use of Intellectual Property, Copyright Violations or Software Piracy

Unauthorized and unlawful disclosure of confidential information including inventions, research and technical data, formulas, discoveries, design improvements, ideas, manufacturing directives, computer programs, trademarks, patents, copyrights, unpublished financial or pricing information and all related documentation. Any misuse of the institution’s information technology.

 

Sabotage or Vandalism

Destruction of institute’s property (as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers. Examples include equipment destruction, stealing, work slowdown, or computer virus.

 

Unsafe Working Conditions

Failure of meeting requirements needed to perform all duties in a secure environment. Potential areas of harm. Examples include environmental damage, OSHA, EPA, supervisor directive, and poor housekeeping.

Waste, Abuse or Misuse of Institute Resources

Improper or unauthorized use of this institute’s resources and technologies for personal gain. The misuse/abuse of institute support services, equipment, or assets.

 

 

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