Procedure for Investigating Fraud and Misconduct

Effective Date:

September 1, 2018

Function:

Office of Compliance Services

Contact:

Joshua B. Toas, Vice President of Compliance and Chief Compliance Officer

518.434.7145

Joshua.Toas@rfsuny.org

Basis for Procedure

This procedure supports the Research Foundation’s (RF) Fraud and Whistleblower Policy and is used to conduct an investigation into an allegation of fraud, waste, abuse, or other Improper Conduct.

Procedure Summary

All credible allegations of Improper Conduct will be reviewed and investigated. Suspected Improper Conduct should be reported to the Office of Compliance Services using the most efficient means possible, consistent with the Fraud and Whistleblower Policy.

The Office of Compliance Services has the primary responsibility of coordinating and documenting of all investigations of suspected Improper Conduct. A representative of the Office of Compliance Services will review the underlying facts and may consult with the Office of Internal Audit, Office of General Counsel, Human Resources, or others as needed, to determine the necessity of conducting an investigation and type of investigation required.

Allegations of Harassment or Discrimination

Allegations that relate to discrimination or harassment, as defined in the Equal Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy and the Procedure for Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaints, will be referred to the Office of Human Resources, to be reviewed pursuant to the RF’s Equal Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy; Nonharassment in the Workplace Policy; and Procedure for Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaints.

Pursuant to the Fraud and Whistleblower Policy, allegations that involve potential discrimination or harassment in addition to other Improper Conduct will be referred to the Office of Compliance Services for a determination on how to proceed. Allegations of assault, unwanted touching, or threats of violence are subject to the Fraud and Whistleblower Policy and this procedure, and are not to be considered an allegation of harassment or discrimination as described above.

Findings and Corrective Action

If the investigation substantiates that fraud, waste, abuse, or other Improper Conduct has occurred, the Office of Internal Audit, Office of General Counsel and/or Office of Compliance Services will issue reports to appropriate designated personnel and to the Board of Directors through the Audit Committee.

If necessary, RF Central Office Management will take appropriate corrective action and communicate findings to the appropriate personnel. Employee discipline will be implemented in a manner consistent with the RF’s Progressive Discipline Policy.

Referral to Law Enforcement or Regulatory Agencies

Decisions to prosecute or refer the investigation results to appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for independent investigation will be made in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, the RF President, the Board, and others as needed.

RF Management will determine whether any sponsor disclosure is required after a review of relevant legal requirements and advice from the Office of General Counsel and Office of Compliance Services.

Inquiries During A Pending Investigation

All inquiries concerning the activity under investigation from the suspected individual, his or her attorney or representative, or any other inquirer must be directed to Office of Compliance Services.

Records

The Office of Compliance Services will maintain a permanent record of all investigations or reviews. Any records subject to the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work-product doctrine will be marked as privileged and only released with the approval of the Office of General Counsel.

Procedure Steps

The following table outlines the steps for handling allegations of Improper Conduct:

Step

Role or Responsibility

References or Tips

Monitor complaints of suspected or actual Improper conduct.

Office of Compliance Services

Enter allegations received through the Ethics Hotline into the case management system, as required.

If an allegation relates to a Member of the Board of Directors, immediately refer to the Chair of the Audit Committee for a determination on how to proceed.

Office of Compliance Services

 

If an allegation relates to an Officer of the RF, provide notice to the Chair of the Audit Committee.

Office of Compliance Services

 

Review the underlying facts.

Office of Compliance Services

May consult with the Office of Internal Audit, Office of General Counsel, Office of Human Resources, or others as needed to determine the necessity of conducting an investigation and type of investigation required.

Organize a review team to investigate the allegation.

Office of Compliance Services in consult with the Office of Internal Audit and Office of General Counsel

The team may include other RF or SUNY staff from any RF or SUNY department or location, and may be supported by outside consultants, such as independent auditors and attorneys.

Conduct fact finding to determine what happened with respect to the alleged incident.

Lead investigator

Members of the investigative team will have free and unrestricted access to all RF records and premises and the authority to examine, copy, and remove all or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, computer files and other standard or electronic storage facilities, without prior knowledge or consent of any individual who may use or have custody of any such items or facilities when it is within the scope of their investigation.

Submit a report to the Office of Compliance Services documenting the investigation.

Lead investigator

 

Make final determination and issue the report to appropriate designated personnel and to the Board of Directors through the Audit Committee, if appropriate.

Office of Compliance Services

 

Determine appropriate corrective measures to take following the investigation.

RF Central Office Management

Please refer to the Progressive Discipline Policy

Create and file permanent corporate records documenting the allegation, investigation, and final report.

Office of Compliance Services

Documentation should include all material and relevant facts, along with statutory and regulatory guidance or requirements, policies and procedures, legal analysis, and other relevant considerations, and a final report outlining the outcome or final determination.

Definitions

Improper Conduct- A deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit or misleading an RF representative, government official, vendor or other entity doing business with the RF. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

Related Information

RF Code of Conduct

RF Conflicts of Interest Policy

RF Fraud and Whistleblower Policy

Equal Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy

Nonharassment in the Workplace Policy

Procedure for Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaints

Forms

None

Change History

Date

Summary of Change

September 1, 2018

Revised for consistency with the Fraud and Whistleblower Policy and to reflect current investigatory practices.

June 30, 2012

New Procedure

 

 

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