Fraud Awareness Program
The District encourages all District employees to be vigilant and report suspicions of fraud, waste, or abuse. Employees who make good faith reports of suspected violations of law, public corruption or wrongdoing are protected from retaliation by the provisions of the Ill. Whistleblower Act. Staff members found to have engaged in fraud, waste, or abuse will be disciplined, up to and including discharge. The District will also seek to recover any wrongfully obtained assets from the employee.
Fraud is defined as: (1) fraudulent financial reporting, (2) misappropriation of assets, and/or (3) corruption (bribery and other illegal acts). Examples of fraud include:
- Embezzlement, e.g., theft of cash, use of entity credit card or accounts payable systems to purchase personal items
- Collusion with others to circumvent internal controls
- Forgery or alteration of documents, e.g., checks, time cards, receipts, contracts, purchase orders, expense reimbursement paperwork, student bills, electronic files, bids, or other financial documents
- Fraudulent reporting of expenditures or other District financial information
- Misappropriation or misuse of resources, e.g., cash, securities, inventory, facilities, equipment, services, supplies, or other assets
- Impropriety in the handling or reporting of cash or financial transactions
- Unless properly authorized, accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services or materials.
- Authorization or receipt of payment for goods not received or services not performed, e.g., payments to fictitious employees or vendors
- Submitting multiple vouchers for the same expense reimbursement
- Using the District's tax exempt status for purchase of personal items
- Authorization or receipt of unearned wages or benefits
- Personal use of District property in commercial business activities
- Identity theft
- Conflict of interest or other ethics violations
- Destruction, removal, or inappropriate use of records, buildings, furniture, fixtures, or equipment
- Any similar or related irregularity to those listed
Waste is the act of using or expending resources carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.
Abuse is behavior that is deficient or improper compared to the behavior that a prudent person would consider reasonable and necessary operational practice given the facts and circumstances.
The terms fraud, waste, and abuse are not mutually exclusive; certain conduct may constitute fraud, waste, and/or abuse.
Staff members who suspect fraud, waste, and/or abuse should do the following:
- Make an oral or written report to the Superintendent that describes the factual basis of the suspicion, including any employees involved, a description of the alleged misconduct, and any supporting evidence. Oral reports shall be followed up in writing by the staff member or Superintendent.
- If the staff member does not feel comfortable identifying himself/herself in making a report, the employee may deliver the report anonymously to the attention of the Superintendent or make an anonymous call to the Superintendent.
- If the report concerns alleged misconduct by the Superintendent, the report may be either be made to a Complaint Manager identified in Board Policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, who will notify the Board President of the report, or directly to the Board President.
- If the reporting staff member has evidence of fraud, waste, and/or abuse, he/she must preserve the evidence and provide it to the Superintendent or designee (or designated Complaint Manager or Board President, if the report concerns the Superintendent) charged with investigating the suspected fraud, waste, or abuse.