5570 - Financial Accountability: Allegations of Fraud
|Policy: Financial Accountability: Allegations of Fraud||Policy Number: 5570|
|Date of Original Policy: 07/10/2002||Date Revision Adopted: 11/06/2019|
|Reviewed by Policy Committee: 09/20/2019||Date of Next Review: 09/28/2022|
|Replacement of Policy Number:|
Reporting and investigations of Allegations of Fraud
All Board of Education members and District employees and third party consultants are required to abide by the District’s policies, administrative regulations and procedures in the conduct of their duties. Further, all applicable federal and state laws and regulations must be adhered to in the course of district operations and practices. Any individual who has reason to believe that financial improprieties or wrongful conduct is occurring within the school system is to disclose such information according to the reporting procedures established by the District.The reporting procedures will follow the chain of command as established within the department for school buildings or as enumerated in the District’s Organizational Chart. In the event that the allegations of financial improprieties, fraud and or wrongful conduct concern the investigation official, the report shall be made to the next level of supervisory authority. If the chain of supervisory command is not sufficient to ensure impartial, independent investigation, allegations of financial improprieties fraud and or wrongful conduct will be reported as applicable, to the Internal Auditor if available , or the Independent External Auditor, or the School Attorney, or the Board of Education. The District’s prohibition of wrongful conduct, including fraud, will be publicized within the District as deemed appropriate and written notification will be provided to all employees with fiscal accounting oversight and financial duties including the handling of money.
Upon receipt of an allegation of financial improprieties, fraud or wrongful conduct, the Board or designated employee (s) will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of a report of suspected wrongful conduct, if the District has knowledge of, or reason to know of, any occurrence of financial improprieties, fraud or wrongful conduct, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all reports will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges or to notify law enforcement officials as warranted, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis. Written records of the allegation, a resulting investigation and outcome will be maintained in accordance with law.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that a school official has engaged in financial improprieties, fraudulent or wrongful actions, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with legal guidelines District policy and regulation, and applicable collective bargaining agreement. Third parties who are found to have engaged in financial improprieties, fraud and or wrongful conduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law. The application of such disciplinary measures by the District does not preclude the filing of civil and or criminal charges as may be warranted. Rather, when school officials receive a complaint or report of alleged financial improprieties, fraud or wrongful conduct that may be criminal in nature, law authorities should be immediately notified.
An appeal procedure will also be provided, as applicable, to address any unresolved complaints or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable investigation office (s).
Prohibition of Retaliation
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against those individuals who, in good faith, report allegations of suspected financial improprieties, fraud and or wrongful conduct as well as witnesses and or any other individuals who participate with the investigation of an allegation of financial impropriety, fraud or wrongful conduct. Follow up inquires shall be made to ensure that no reprisals or retaliatory behavior has occurred to those involved in the investigation. Any act of retaliation is prohibited and subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.
Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Any individual who knowingly makes false accusations against another individual as to allegations of financial improprieties or frauds may also face appropriate disciplinary action.