Fraud and Corruption Policy
Responsibility for policy: In-House Solicitor
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: March 2021
Next review date: March 2026
- This policy applies to current and former staff, current and former students, and current and former members of the University of Waikato Council, University committees, Boards and Trust Boards.
- The purpose of this policy is to
- reduce the risk to the University of fraudulent or corrupt conduct or business practices
- make a clear statement with respect to the University's expectations with respect to ethical conduct and business practices and its attitude to fraud and corruption.
- The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:
- In this policy:
fraud means an intentional and dishonest act that involves deception or misrepresentation where the perpetrator obtains or potentially obtains an advantage for themselves, another person or the University
corruption means the lack of integrity or honestly, or the abuse of entrusted power for private or University gain and includes giving illegitimate payments to third parties to obtain an advantage for the University, or taking any illegitimate payments from third parties to obtain a private advantage
External Authority means one of the various officials and organisations included in the definition of "appropriate authority" in the Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022
Internal Authority means any of the following:
- the Chancellor.
- the Vice-Chancellor
- the In-House Solicitor
line manager means a person with direct managerial responsibility for a particular staff member.
Principles and responsibilities
- All individuals to whom this policy applies are expected to:
- be scrupulously fair and honest in their dealings with, and on behalf of, the University
- behave in a manner that safeguards the University's funds and assets against fraud, theft and unauthorised use, and
- report any suspicions that fraud or corruption may be taking, or may have taken, place.
- The University does not tolerate fraud or corruption.
- Unless section 8 of this policy applies, the University will investigate any suspected cases of fraud or corruption reported to it.
- The University will not investigate any allegations of fraud or corruption that are considered to be frivolous, vexatious, trivial or made in bad faith.
- Any case of suspected fraud or corruption reported to an Internal Authority will be reported to the University's internal and external auditors.
- If a case of fraud or corruption involves the theft of money or property, the University will take steps to recover its losses.
Procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of fraud and corruption
- Subject to clause 13 of this policy, a current staff member who believes on reasonable grounds that fraud or corruption is taking place or has taken place in the University, must report the matter to their line manager.
- Subject to clause 13 of this policy, a line manager to whom a suspicion of fraud or corruption is reported must promptly refer the matter to an Internal Authority who, unless clause 8 of this policy applies, will arrange for an investigation to be undertaken.
- A current staff member who prefers for any reason to report a suspicion of fraud or corruption to someone other than their line manager, or a line manager who for any reason prefers to refer a suspicion to someone other than an Internal Authority, must follow the process set out in the University's Protected Disclosures Policy, which outlines alternative options.
- Any person to whom this policy applies other than a current staff member, who wishes to report a suspicion of fraud or corruption in or in relation to the University, must follow the process set out in the Protected Disclosures Policy.
- Any investigation of fraud or corruption initiated by an Internal Authority will follow the process set out in the University's Fraud and Corruption Response Plan.
- No attempt should be made by anyone suspecting fraud or corruption to investigate the matter personally.
- If fraud, corruption or any other conduct contrary to the best interests of the University is found to have been committed by a current student or staff member, the Internal Authority will refer the matter to be dealt with by an appropriate process. Examples of processes that may follow an investigation are:
- action under the Staff Code of Conduct if it involves a current staff member
- action under the Student Discipline Regulations if it involves a current student
- referring the matter to the Police if it appears that a crime may have been committed.
- If fraud or corruption is found to have been committed by a person to whom this policy applies other than a current student or staff member, any action or process to deal with the wrongdoing must be decided in consultation with the Vice-Chancellor and, if the Vice-Chancellor agrees, the Chancellor.
- Even though details of cases of fraud or corruption may be confidential, as a matter of principle references should not be given for staff who are known to have committed fraud or corruption; any requests for references where such circumstances may apply should be referred to the Director of People and Capability.
Responsibility for monitoring compliance
- The In-House Solicitor is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.