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Ethics and Compliance Hotline

Responsible Department
Internal Audit
Effective Date
12/17/2015
Revision Date
08/22/2019
  1. .

    Purpose

    This policy provides guidance for the operation of and resolution of complaints filed on the Ethics & Compliance Hotline.

  2. .

    Definitions

    University Community:  Students, faculty and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

  3. .

    Statement

    1. The University expects all of our employees to perform their duties in observation and compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and University policies.

    2. In order to provide an ethical, efficient, and effective environment, it is important that all employees, students, and visitors at the University of North Georgia (UNG or the University) are able to provide important feedback regarding possible improper activities and to be able to do so without fear of retaliation.

    3. The University System of Georgia (USG) has established an Ethics & Compliance Hotline, operated by a third-party provider to collect allegations anonymously, for each of its institutions (the “Ethics & Compliance Hotline”).  The Ethics & Compliance Hotline is available at: https://ung.alertline.com/gcs/welcome and/or by calling (877)516-3461, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    4. The Ethics & Compliance Hotline does not replace or supersede existing reporting methods, which are detailed in the Reporting Requirements for Employees policy.  The University strongly encourages employees and other members of the University Community to report concerns of misconduct directly through normal lines of communication.

      1. For example, employees are encouraged to report concerns through his/her supervisory chain which frequently produces the most thorough and timely resolution of a matter.

      2. Additionally, other offices on campus, as outlined in the Internal Investigations Policy and Procedures, are available to receive complaints or concerns from the University Community.

    5. If individuals are uncomfortable discussing concerns with a University official directly, an individual can discuss or report those concerns to the Ethics & Compliance Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    6. The Office of Internal Audit has lead responsibility for the administration of the Ethics & Compliance Hotline and will review every report to the Ethics & Compliance Hotline to determine what further steps should be taken (“Hotline Administrator”).  The scope of the review and which official(s) will be involved will depend on the facts and the nature of the case.

    7. The University and its employees may not interfere with the right of an employee to report concerns or wrongdoing and may not retaliate or take adverse employment action against an employee who, in good faith, has reported concerns or wrongdoing or has cooperated in an investigation. Retaliation violates federal and state laws, Board of Regents’ policies, and the University’s policies. Alleged violations of this provision should be reported to the University’s Director of Internal Audit or General Counsel.  Violations of this provision may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

    8. This policy does not protect an employee who files a false report or who provides information without a reasonable belief in the truth or accuracy of the information. Any employee who knowingly files a false report or intentionally provides false information during an investigation may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment.
  4. .

    Support Informaton

    1. The University recognizes that an ethical, efficient, and effective work environment is essential to successfully accomplishing our mission. As a result, we place a high priority on assuring that each member of our University Community has the opportunity and means to convey any matter that could compromise that environment.

    2. The Ethics & Compliance Hotline allows faculty, staff, students and visitors the option to confidentially report concerns and Wrongdoing by telephone or on-line, and to remain anonymous if so desired.  A link to the University Ethics & Compliance Hotline exists on the UNG home page (www.ung.edu) as well on the University’s Human Resources home page (http://ung.edu/human-resources) and the University’s Internal Audit home page (https://ung.edu/president/internal-audit).

    3. OCGA 45-1-4 outlines the legal protections in place for Public Employees who file complaints of fraud, waste and abuse in state programs and operations.
  5. .

    Procedures

    Any operating procedures developed must comply with and reference this policy.

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