The Board of Education recognizes its fiduciary responsibility to ensure an environment of sound fiscal management in the district. To this end, the board establishes an avenue for employees, students, and members of the public to report wrongdoing or suspected wrongdoing to the Audit Committee, in such a way as to ensure the confidentiality of the source.
The procedure for reporting inappropriate financial activities shall be as follows:
a. Any person with a complaint regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters may report his/her complaint to a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Education. Complaints must be in writing.
b. Employees with concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters may forward those concerns on a confidential and anonymous basis to the Audit Committee.
c. Copies of all communications received under (a) or (b) (reduced to writing if received electronically) by any person other than a member of the Audit Committee shall be promptly forwarded to the Audit Committee in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential.”
2. Scope of Matters Covered by these Procedures
· Fraud or deliberate error in the preparation, evaluation, review or audit of any financial statement of the District;
· Fraud or deliberate error in the recording and maintaining of financial records of the District;
· Deficiencies in or noncompliance with the District’s internal accounting controls;
· Misrepresentation or false statements to or by a senior administrator or accountant regarding a matter contained in the financial records, financial reports, or audit reports of the District; and
· Deviation from full and fair reporting of the District’s financial condition.
3. Treatment of Complaints
Any person assigned by the Audit Committee, shall as promptly as possible, report in writing to a member of the Audit Committee the results of any investigation. The audit Committee shall, at its regularly scheduled meetings or at special meetings called at any time, review all reports and shall determine the corrective or disciplinary action, if any, to be taken.
4. Reporting and Retention of Complaints and Investigations
The Audit Committee will maintain a log of all complaints, tracking their receipt, investigation and resolution and shall prepare a periodic summary report thereof for delivery to the Board of Education.
5. Whistleblower Protections
Employees, who have a reasonable belief, that the conduct about which he or she complains, constitutes a violation of law, rule or regulation by the school district are protected by Section 75-b of the New York State Civil Service Law. Accordingly, the District shall take no action to terminate or other adverse personnel action against an employee because he or she disclosed information to a governmental body regarding a violation of a law, rule or regulation where the violation: 1) creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or 2) is one which the employee reasonable believes to be true and reasonably believes constitutes an improper school district action.
Before reporting any such information to another governmental agency, and in order to obtain the protections of Section 75-b of the Civil Service Law, an employee must make a good faith effort to provide the audit committee, or where the allegations involve the audit committee, to the Board of Education with the information to be disclosed. This “Whistleblower Protection: shall extend to retaliation consisting of adverse personnel action affecting an employee’s compensation, appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, reassignment or evaluation of performance.
Further protection of a school employee who reports information regarding illegal or inappropriate financial practices shall be accorded the employee pursuant to Section 3028-d of the New York State Education Law. Any employee of the school district, having reasonable cause to suspect that the fiscal practices or actions of an employee or officer of the school district any local, state or federal law or rule and regulation, relating to the financial practices of the district and who in good faith reports such information to the audit committee or an official of the school district or to the Office of the State Comptroller, the Commissioner of Education or to law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from the making of such report. Neither the school district nor its employees or officers shall take, request, or cause a retaliatory action against any such employee who makes such a complaint or report.
6. Dissemination of Procedures
These procedures shall be disseminated through publication in employee handbooks and it shall be distributed to all employees with fiscal accounting and/or money handling responsibilities on an annual basis. Included with these procedures shall be information on contacting the Audit Company by phone or e-mail, and instructions on how employees and others may submit any complaints or concerns in accordance with these procedures.
Board Approval Date: