Roles and Responsibilities for Fraud Detection
Managers should be alert to the possibility that unusual events or transactions could be symptoms of fraud or attempted fraud. Fraud may also be highlighted as a result of specific management checks or be brought to management’s attention by a third party. Additionally, irregularities occasionally come to light in the course of audit reviews.
Irrespective of the source of suspicion, it is for line management to undertake an initial enquiry to ascertain the facts. This enquiry should be carried out as speedily as possible after suspicion has been aroused; prompt action is essential. The purpose of the initial enquiry is to confirm or repudiate the suspicions that have arisen so that, if necessary, further investigation may be instigated.
Every member of University staff has a duty to ensure that the University’s funds are safeguarded, whether they are involved with cash or payments systems, receipts, stocks or dealings with contractors or suppliers. Staff should alert their line manger where they believe the opportunity for fraud exists because of poor procedures or lack of effective oversight.
In addition it is the responsibility of every member of staff to report details immediately [to their line manager or next most senior person] if they suspect that a fraud has been committed or see any suspicious acts or events. Staff should also assist in any investigations by making available all relevant information and by co-operating in interviews.
If initial examination confirms the suspicion that a fraud has been perpetrated, then to prevent the loss of evidence which may provide essential for subsequent disciplinary action or prosecution, management should take steps to ensure that all original documentation is preserved in a safe place for further investigation. Additionally, the budget centre may suspend any officer involved pending the outcome of an investigation. Suspension itself does not imply guilt; it is another safeguard to prevent the removal of destruction of evidence.
University Guidance on Fraud and Irregularity
The University has in place procedures and guidance that relate to this area. The procedure for reporting a fraud or suspected irregularity can be found by visiting the pages on reporting irregularities. There is also a Whistleblowing procedure that can be found by visiting the pages on whistle blowing.
Any suspicions of fraud should be reported to the Registrar & Secretary who will decide on the course of action to be taken. Internal Audit are often instructed to carry out an initial investigation into the matter, to assess the situation and advise on what further action should be taken. managers are expected to provide all information required for the investigation and to make themselves available to assist in the work.
Internal Audit consider the risk of fraud in all the work that is undertaken, and will assess the controls that managers rely on to minimise risk in this area.