University of Delaware
UD Questions and Answers
Q: What is EthicsPoint?
A: EthicsPoint is a comprehensive, confidential, and anonymous Internet and telephone based reporting tool that assists management and employees in working together to address fraud and other issues of concern in the workplace, while helping to cultivate a positive work environment.
Q. May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?
A: Yes. By giving you choices, EthicsPoint helps ensure that employees can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to them. To report via the toll free phone number call 1-888-366-6033. To make a report via any Internet-connected computer (it does not have to be a University computer), use the "Compliance Hotline." The link is available from the "Faculty and Staff" menu or via a search for "compliance" in the "A-Z Index" on UD's home page. You may also go directly to www.ethicspoint.com, click on "File a New Report" and type in the words "University of Delaware". The reporting hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Q. Why do we need a system like EthicsPoint?
A: Open channels of communication help create a positive and ethical work environment. The use of such anonymous reporting systems is considered a best business practice for all organizations. It also offers an alternate avenue from regular lines of communication for those who are not certain whether the activity they have observed is actually a violation.
We all have the right to work in a positive environment and with that right, comes the responsibility to act in an ethical manner and to let the appropriate people know if someone is not acting appropriately. In addition, as stewards of public funds, we have a responsibility to the public to ensure these funds are used in accordance with the legal and contractual requirements. Reporting can minimize the potential negative effects on the University, and positive input may help identify issues that can improve our environment.
Q. What type of situations should I report?
A: Our hotline is designed to receive reports regarding ethical issues and other concerns related to accounting and financial controls, athletics, human resources, information technologies, research, and risk and safety matters. Examples of reportable issues include fraud, misuse of UD resources or information, violation of safety rules and environmental laws, conflicts of interest, NCAA violations, unlawful discrimination or harassment, and research grant misconduct.
Q. If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my manager, security, or Human Resources and let them deal with it?
A: Employees are encouraged to continue to use UD's standard chain of command. However, this reporting hotline is an additional tool that can help if you have a concern, especially when you may not feel comfortable with the standard methods. Additionally, reports filed through the hotline can be filed anonymously, and all report information is secure and held in the strictest confidence.
Q. I am not sure what I have observed or heard is a violation of University policy, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?
A: As noted above, discussion with appropriate supervisors in encouraged; however, if you are uncertain about whether this is the appropriate path, or about how to communicate your concerns, file a report. EthicsPoint can help prepare your report so it can be properly understood. We'd rather you report a situation that turns out to be harmless than let possible unethical behavior go unchecked.
Q. I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn't affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?
A: Misconduct has implications for the entire institution and consequently all employees. The University is committed to enforcing applicable legal requirements, as well as its own policies and procedures. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts everyone. If you know of any incidents of misconduct, consider it your duty to yourself and your coworkers to report it.
Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
A: Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breach in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals within the University who will evaluate the report and facts surrounding the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence.
Q. Do we think our employees have knowledge of misconduct, and are not reporting it?
A: It is estimated that employees in an organization like ours have some knowledge of misconduct and want to share this information with management, but they may not know where to report it. The most common reasons for not reporting are a fear of retribution from management and/or peers. Other reasons include a desire not to be identified or the fear that their supervisor might be involved.
Q. How can the EthicsPoint reporting tool help in solving this problem?
A: EthicsPoint is designed to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of those who file reports.
Q: How am I protected if another person uses this tool to falsely accuse me of unethical behavior?
A: Individuals who file a report are expected to use good judgment in the use of this system. EthicsPoint has a direct follow-up feature that provides the ability to qualify reports that may appear to be unfounded. All inquiries and concerns submitted through EthicsPoint will be given careful attention with the objective of ascertaining the facts in each case. Reports of misconduct are considered allegations only, and require proper and thorough investigations. According to EthicsPoint, as a general rule fewer than 20 percent of all reports are false and most of those are quickly identified as being unfounded.
Q: What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the report? Or what if the University has further questions for me concerning my report?
A: When you file a report, you receive a unique identification code and will choose a private password. Using these, you are encouraged to call back the toll-free number or return to the EthicsPoint web site within ten business days. Upon returning, you can access the original report to answer questions and add information that will help resolve open issues. This additional correspondence is held in the same strict confidence and anonymity as the initial report.