Financial wrongdoing that led to the termination of three employees. The misrepresentation of a home address by a student to qualify for in-state tuition that led to an investigation by the UGA Police Department. The falsification of work hours by employees that led to stronger monitoring by department managers. These are all examples of investigations UGA’s Internal Auditing Division has completed.
According to Matthew Whitley, the division’s director, a little bit of prevention can go a long way to stop infractions before they happen. To help promote an ethical culture on campus and raise awareness about ethics resources available at UGA, the division is hosting Celebrating Our Ethical Culture Week Nov. 14-18 in conjunction with the University System of Georgia’s International Fraud Awareness Week.
“People think we are in the business of catching fraudsters, but really our hope is to educate and prevent fraud,” said Whitley. “We’d much rather prevent fraud and educate people about how to create an ethical culture so that we don’t have to deal with the aftermath.”
The highlight of Celebrating Our Ethical Culture Week will be a series of lectures. Brian Huth, application analyst principal with EITS, and Laura Heilman, IT security analyst associate with EITS, will talk about the “Mindset of a Hacker” Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. in Room 271 of the special collections libraries. Beth Bailey, senior associate director of the Office of Legal Affairs, will speak about “Doing What’s Right: Reporting What’s Wrong” Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. in Room 258 of the special collections libraries. Capt. Wes Huff with the UGA Police Department will discuss “The Impact of Culture on Ethics” Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. in Room 277 of the special collections libraries. UGA President Jere W. Morehead also is expected to speak about the university’s commitment to ethics during the Nov. 16 University Council meeting.
Also during that week, look for digital posters around campus and an Archnews email with a list of ethics and fraud resources.
In addition, Whitley will lead the workshop “Why Ethics Still Matter” Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. in Room AB of the Training and Development Center.
The Internal Auditing Division works closely with several offices across campus on investigations. When a report comes in, a triage committee meets to categorize the issue and identify the person or unit to
handle the investigation. Whitley chairs the committee, which includes staff from the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Human Resources and the Finance and Administration Division.
Once the investigation is complete, the group reports back to the triage committee. The committee then makes an assessment based on the investigation and takes appropriate action.
If you have concerns or want to report suspected fraudulent behavior, Whitley suggests contacting the Internal Auditing Division at 706-542-1494 or Legal Affairs at 706-542-0006. To file an anonymous report, visit uga.alertline.com or call 1-877-516-3467.
For more information about the Internal Auditing Division, visit audit.uga.edu.