The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist the Auburn University System in fulfilling its vision of being a preeminent comprehensive land-grant university. Our office provides services in three distinct yet related disciplines - audit, compliance, and privacy - in support of Auburn University's three-pronged mission of teaching, research, and service.
The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy functions in partnership with University leadership to:
Our monthly newsletter compiles relevant higher education risk-related stories from around the nation.August 2019
Last month we discussed the topic of occupational fraud in higher education, and I stated in the column, ''Fraud rarely occurs when strong controls and oversight are in place.'' I certainly can attest to this being true in the cases we have investigated over the years. In addition, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners publishes a report on the topic every two years listing the top reasons that occupational fraud was able to occur:
All five are control related issues. Therefore, I thought this month would be a good time to expand on what we mean by controls and offer some advice in this area. Controls are simply the things we do to ensure we are successful in achieving our objectives. Certainly, we have an objective to prevent fraud in our organization (though it may not be written down). The actions we take to achieve that objective are all internal controls. You implement controls in your personal life every day. For example, most people lock their doors when they leave their house. This is a control activity used to achieve your objective of preventing your property from being stolen.
When speaking on the topic of internal controls, I used to include my top ten suggestions for improving internal controls, but lately I've narrowed the list to five:
Controls can be used to manage almost all the risks we see each month in our links. We invite you to review the events happening throughout higher education with a view toward strong controls, oversight, and proactive risk management. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Auburn University uses the EthicsPoint anonymous Reporting System to enhance communication and empower individuals to promote safety, security, and ethical behavior. Use this anonymous, confidential system to report situations, events or actions by individuals or groups that you believe unethical or otherwise inappropriate. Frivolous or unfounded reports do not help foster a positive workplace. This hotline service does not replace our existing reporting methods for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or other potentially illegal activities. The University continues to encourage stakeholders to report concerns or suspected violations to their supervisor or other campus entities as appropriate.
If you are uncertain if a situation violates University policy, is illegal or constitutes harassment or discrimination, you may use EthicsPoint to obtain clarification. We would much rather have you ask questions than let potential problems go unchecked. However, EthicsPoint should not be used for immediate threats to life or property. If the situation presents an immediate threat to life or property call emergency -- 911
Last Updated: September 13, 2019