Central Michigan University has selected EthicsPoint to provide a simple, anonymous way for employees to confidentially report activities that may involve financial misconduct. To file a report, call EthicsPoint toll-free at 1-866-294-9379 or click on the Ethics Hotline link below, which will disconnect you from CMU’s website and connect you with EthicsPoint secure server.
For more information, please click on one of the following links, or read the FAQ's below.
What is EthicsPoint®?
Why do we need a system like EthicsPoint®?
There are several reasons why we need a reporting tool:
- We believe that CMU employees are our most important assets in ensuring that our financial representation is accurate and there are no questionable transactions or entries. Your input is also imperative to help us reduce losses from all types of fraud schemes. Auditing and accounting misconduct is unacceptable at any level of the university.
- The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) provided guidance in its Advisory Report 2003-3, The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: Recommendations for Higher Education, by describing this reporting mechanism as a best practice for higher education. Publicly traded companies are required by law (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) to have an anonymous reporting system to address accounting and auditing misconduct. In addition, colleges and universities that receive federal awards may possibly be required to follow Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regulations at some point in the future.
- The PCAOB is the standard-setting body established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Reporting “hotlines” have proven to be an effective tool in reducing losses from accounting, fraud and auditing schemes and therefore help to protect our institution’s financial strength.
Does CMU think there is a problem with fraud on campus?
CMU does not suspect any wrongdoing within our campus community. We believe in the integrity of our employees. By establishing this confidential reporting tool, CMU strengthens its commitment to maintaining a safe, secure, and ethical workplace.
It is my understanding that any report I send from a university computer generates a server log that shows every web-site 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® does not track or capture screen names or computer addresses (no cookies), to further protecting the reporter’s identity. With fewer than 12% of reports generated during business hours, most people prefer to report from the comfort of their home after hours and on the weekend.
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…”.
Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint® secure server to prevent any possible breech in security. EthicsPoint® makes these reports available only to specific individuals in Internal Audit at CMU, who are charged with evaluating the type of violation and location of the incident. Reports are never emailed, faxed or mailed and are only made available to trained personnel. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence. The EthicsPoint® system and staff are trained and committed to ensure that no report is ever shared with implicated parties, their peers, or subordinates.
What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
The EthicsPoint® system and report distribution are designed so that no report is ever shared with implicated parties, their peers or their subordinates. If the university president or a Board of Trustees member is implicated, the report is available only to a specified party. This will help to eliminate cover-ups by any implicated individual.
How will my confidentiality be protected?
If you report a good faith concern about a legal violation and want to remain confidential, your identity is considered to be private under Michigan law and university policy and must be protected. This means your identity may be disclosed only to those people at the university who need the information to do their jobs, to investigate and resolve your allegation, or where another law or policy allows disclosure (for example a court subpoena or criminal investigation).
Will my supervisor be told about the allegation? Who else in my unit might find out?
Your supervisor may or may not be told about the allegation, depending upon the particular circumstances of your report. In most cases, leadership within the department or unit where the wrongdoing is alleged to have occurred will be notified, as well as others who may have a need to know parts of a report in order to do their jobs or assist in any investigation. This notice typically includes general information about the nature of the allegation. This is necessary in many cases because employees in the unit or department may be interviewed, asked for documents, or otherwise involved in an investigation. In some cases, a supervisor may not be told about an allegation until an initial investigation has taken place, documents or evidence secured, or other actions are taken to ensure the matter is fully investigated and resolved.
Will anyone outside the university see my report?
Reports may be made available to other persons, agencies or organizations that have a statutory or other legal authority to gain access, for example to comply with a court order or subpoena.
If I file a report anonymously, will anyone at the university ever learn my identity?
The university will not learn your identity from EthicsPoint® if you file an anonymous report. In some circumstances, however, your identity may nevertheless become apparent. For example, this may occur where the particular facts of a report suggest that it must have come from one person, or the reporter’s identity becomes clear during the course of investigating the report. In all cases, the university forbids retaliation based upon making a good faith report and provides resources to assist reporters concerned about retaliation.
My report will say that a co-worker or supervisor is doing something wrong. Will that person learn I am the source of the report?
This depends in some degree upon the specifics of your allegation, and whether you report anonymously. If you are reporting an incident that was observed by several people, or where documents or physical evidence exists (even if you don’t have the evidence yourself), the university may be able to fully investigate the matter without revealing you as the reporter. If, for example, no documents or other evidence exists to support an allegation other than your report, the university may be unable to further investigate the matter or to impose disciplinary action unless you come forward. In these cases, the university will work with you to provide you with appropriate resources and protection to assure you will be treated fairly for having raised a good faith concern in the event your identity is made known.
Isn’t this just a “Big Brother” program making everyone suspicious of everyone else?
Absolutely not - the EthicsPoint® system concentrates on being a positive aspect of the overall university culture, and allows employees to partner with the university to assure a safe, secure and ethical workplace. We encourage you to use the system to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas, provide positive suggestions, or communicate a concern. Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organization and EthicsPoint® is a great way to enhance that communication.
What are my responsibilities in making a report or in an investigation?
You are expected be acting in “good faith” in making a report. This means that you provide information you know or suspect is true. You are also expected to cooperate in any investigation that may arise as a result of a report. Depending upon the allegations in your report, this could include discussions with you. All university employees are expected to be truthful and candid during any investigation of illegal or wrongful conduct. Indeed, providing information known to be false or intentionally misleading, either in a report or during the course of an investigation, is a serious matter that could result in discipline or termination.
Will I be told about the details about an investigation or its outcome/result?
In most cases, you will be told whether your reported issue was investigated, and whether it was resolved. There are, however, legal and other restrictions on what information the university is allowed to provide. For example, you may not be told about actions taken against a university employee or student as a result of your allegation because that information may be deemed “private” under applicable law. You also may not be told information that is deemed to be legally privileged or otherwise confidential.
I’m a Student. What should I report here?
If you are a student employee and your concern relates to a financial misconduct issue connected with your employment, you should file a report here.