Anonymous Reporting Hotline
The 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
Anonymous Reporting FAQ
Questions and Answers for Stakeholders
Q. What is EthicsPoint?
EthicsPoint is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool created by NAVEX Global to assist management and University stakeholders to work together in addressing fraud, abuse, and other misconduct in University operations, all while cultivating a positive environment.
Q. Why do we need a system like EthicsPoint?
There are several reasons why we need a reporting tool:
Through open channels of communication, you can participate in improving the institution and helping to create an ethical environment.
Auburn University's external auditors have recommended we implement such a system. In addition, SACS also suggested the implementation of such a system.
In January 2005, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants recommended that all organizations develop an anonymous reporting system (preferably operated by a third party as ours is with EthicsPoint).
Reporting systems are increasingly being viewed as a necessary best business practice in not-for-profit organizations.
Q. May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?
Yes you may. By giving you choices, EthicsPoint helps ensure that individuals can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to them. To report via the toll free phone number call 1-866-294-4871. (Para hacer una denucua en español, favor de llamar 1-866-294-4871.) To make a report via the internet click on the appropriate link from the Auburn University Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy web site or go directly to www.ethicspoint.com and follow the links under ''File a Report....''
Q. Why should I report what I know? What's in it for me?
We all have the right to work, study, live and have a campus experience that is a positive environment and with that right, comes the responsibility of acting in an ethical manner and letting the appropriate people know if someone is not acting appropriately. In addition, as stewards of public funds we have a responsibility to the public to ensure these funds are expended in accordance with legal requirements.
Q. What type of situations should I report?
Our hotline is currently designed to receive reports regarding ethical issues related to financial matters, hazing, research, internal control issues and NCAA violations. The hotline page redirects reports in other areas to the appropriate campus location.
Q. If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my manager or human resources and let them deal with it?
Our preference is that you use existing campus reporting methods when at all possible. However, the reporting hotline is another way stakeholders can voice concerns, especially when they may not feel comfortable with the existing system.
Q. It is my understanding that any report I send from a university computer generates a server log that shows every website that my PC connects with, and won't this log identify me as a report originator?
EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to EthicsPoint is available.
EthicsPoint has noted that fewer than 12% of reports are generated during business hours, most people prefer to report from the comfort of their home after hours and on the weekend.
Q. Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
A report from home, a neighbor's computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter's identity.
Q. I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. However, you as a reporting party need to ensure that the body of the report does not reveal your identity by accident, for example, ''From my desk next to Jan Smith''... or ''In my 33 years''....
Q. I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn't affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?
As stewards of public funds, misconduct has implications for the entire institution and consequently all stakeholders. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts everyone. If you know of any incidents of misconduct or ethical violations, consider it your duty to yourself and other stakeholders to report it.
Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breach in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals at Auburn University who are charged with evaluating the type of violation and facts of the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence.
Q. What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won't they get the report?
The EthicsPoint system and report distribution are designed so that no report is distributed to implicated parties, their peers or their subordinates.
Q. What if I remember something important about the incident after I filed the report? Or what if the university has further questions for me concerning my report?
When you file a report at the EthicsPoint Web site or via the toll-free number, you receive a unique user name and are asked to choose a password. You can return to the EthicsPoint system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original report to answer questions posed by a company representative and add further information that will help resolve open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site to answer any questions submitted by those reviewing the report. You and Auburn University have now entered into an ''anonymous dialogue... where circumstances can be clarified and additional information obtained.
Q. Are these follow-on reports as secure as the first one?
All EthicsPoint correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity.
Q. What if I want to be identified with my report?
There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.
Q. Is the telephone toll-free hot line confidential and anonymous too?
Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint Web site. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.
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