Fraud and Compliance Hot Line
Questions and Answers

Q. What is the University of Alabama Hotline?

The Hotline is a third party comprehensive and anonymous internet and telephone based reporting tool that enables our community to address potential misconduct in the workplace, while helping to cultivate a positive work environment.

Q. May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?

Yes you may. By giving you choices, the Hotline ensures that members of our community can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to them.

Q. Why do we need a reporting tool like the Hotline?

There are several reasons why we need a reporting tool:

  1. We believe that students, faculty, staff and friends of the University are our most important asset. Through open channels of communication, they can participate in improving the University and helping to create a safe and professional environment.
  2. Reporting hotlines have proven to be an effective tool in reducing losses, assuring financial integrity and protecting the reputation of the institution.

Q. Does management really want me to report?

We certainly do. In fact, we need you to report. You know what is going on in your department -both good and bad. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your reporting can minimize the negative impact related to potential misconduct.

Q. Does the Hotline replace reporting situations to my manager or other offices within the University? What type of situations should I report on the Hotline?

The Hotline does not replace any of our standard reporting tools, but there are several good reasons why you should consider using the Hotline when traditional reporting options may not be optimal for the situation you encountered. First, the Hotline ensures that your report gets to the appropriate people. More importantly, reports can be filed anonymously and all report information is secure and held in the strictest confidence.

The Hotline is designed to accept reports for the following type of concerns:

  1. Financial matters relating to accounting or internal control issues, fraud, theft or other financial issues.
  2. Regulatory matters relating to confidentially issues, falsification of reports or other issues.
  3. Information technology matters relating to the inappropriate use of technology or misuse of technology resources.
  4. Matters involving the suspected violation of University policies, procedures, guidelines, etc.
  5. Situations where there may be a violation of laws, codes, ordinances, etc.

Q. Is the Hotline an appropriate reporting tool for something as personal and important as sexual harassment?

The Office of Human Resources, 205-348-6690, is your best option for reporting cases of sexual harassment. However, if you are uncomfortable contacting Human Resources, sexual harassment reports can be taken over the Hotline.

Q. What shouldn’t I report using the Hotline?

The Hotline is not a “911” service for emergency issues or actions. Safety issues in and around campus should be reported to the University of Alabama Police Department (205-348-5454) and for off-campus emergencies, call 911.  Nor is the Hotline the appropriate format for academic issues. Potential academic misconduct should be reported to Academic Affairs (205 348-4890).

Q. 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?

The Hotline is managed by Navex, so the data source of the report is unknown to the University when the person reporting the matter desires to remain anonymous.  Unless required by law, Navex will not release the source of a report unless the person reporting the matter is willing to disclose his or her name. Also, Navex has found that most people prefer to report from the comfort of their home after work hours and on the weekend.

Q. Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?

A report from home, a neighbor’s computer, or any internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the University Hotline system strips away internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, the Hotline is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.

Q. I am concerned that the information I provide the Hotline will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?

The Hotline 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 cube next to Jan Smith…” or “In my 33 years…”.

Q. I am not sure what I have observed or heard is a violation of University policy, or misconduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?

Unless other more routine and direct reporting options are not suitable, file a report. The Hotline can help you prepare and file your report so it can be properly understood. We’d rather you reported a situation that turned out to be harmless than let possible misconduct go unchecked because you weren’t sure.

Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?

Reports are entered directly on a secure server operated by Navex, an independent company. Navex makes these reports available only to specific individuals within the University who are charged with evaluating the type of alleged violation, location of the incident, potential persons involved, etc.  Each of these report recipients is aware of the need to maintain confidentiality. The University Hotline system and staff are committed to ensure that no report is ever shared with implicated parties, their peers, or subordinates, unless required by legal order.

Q. What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?

The Hotline system and report distribution are designed so that no report is ever shared with implicated parties, their peers or their subordinates. This will help to eliminate cover-ups by any implicated individual.

Q. What if I remember something important about the incident after I filed the report? Or what if the company has further questions for me concerning my report?

When you file a report on the Hotline internet site or via the toll-free number, you receive a unique user ID and are asked to choose a password. You can return to the Hotline system again either by internet or telephone and access the original report to answer questions posed by a University representative and add further information that will help resolve and/or clarify open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in the time specified to answer questions. You and a member of the University compliance team now have entered into an “anonymous dialogue” where situations are identified and resolved.

Q. Are these follow-on reports as secure as the first one?

All University Hotline correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity.

Q. What if I want to be identified with my report?

There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.

Q. Can I still file a report if I don’t have access to the Internet?

You can file a University Hotline report from any computer that can access the internet. You can file from home. Many public locations, including the public library, have internet computers. If you don’t have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the toll-free hotline 1-866-362-9476 which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Q. Is the telephone toll-free Hotline confidential and anonymous too?

Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the Hotline Web site. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.

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