Internal Auditor FAQs
The Office of Internal Audit (IA) is responsible for the administration of Howard University’s (Howard, HU, or the institution) Compliance and Ethics Helpline (Helpline). Any questions can be addressed by contacting the Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-238-2479.
For Individuals Reporting Concerns
Why is the Compliance and Ethics Helpline important?
Disclosing known information regarding violations of law, fraud, economic waste, misconduct or mismanagement, gross incompetence, or inefficiency assists in enforcing responsible stewardship of institutional resources.
Who can contact the Helpline?
The following individuals are welcome to use the Helpline:
- Howard or Howard University Hospital (HUH) employees
- Howard students
- Applicants for employment
- HU and HUH contractors, grantees, or other individuals that receive HU or HUH funds or utilize HU or HUH resources
What are my other options to report concerns if I am not comfortable using the Helpline?
- You should contact your supervisor, providing all pertinent information to facilitate the investigation and documenting your concern in writing.
- If you have concerns regarding your supervisor, you can contact another manager or Human Resources to report your concerns.
Do I have the option to remain anonymous?
- Yes. People who contact the Helpline may choose to remain anonymous (known only to IA employees) or confidential (known to IA employees and others who have a need to know, in the opinion of IA or the Office of General Counsel [OGC] of the institution).
- Choosing to remain anonymous may impact IA’s ability to obtain sufficient information to properly, timely, and completely audit or investigate the allegation(s). The same situation may apply to confidential reporters, but to a lesser degree.
How do I file a report with the Helpline?
- Reports may be filed through the Helpline phone number at 202-238-2479 or the email address email@example.com. Both resources are available to receive calls and emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What information should I provide when filing a report?
- When filing a report, please reference the Allegation Report provided within the Hotline and Whistleblower Policy
What happens after I file a report?
- Allegation Reports filed through the Helpline will be reviewed by IA, who will consult with OGC or other responsible institutional departments as necessary, to decide which of the following actions will be taken:
- Request more information regarding the allegation from individuals who file a report to accurately comprehend the situation if insufficient information was previously provided.
- Refer the allegation(s) to the department that has the authority and ability to implement corrective action based on the subject matter of the Allegation Report.
- Conduct an audit or investigation of the allegation(s).
- Audits or investigations will be performed in accordance with IA policies and procedures. The results of the IA review will be documented and distributed to appropriate contacts, as necessary. If anyone employed in the IA office is the target of an allegation, the review of that allegation will be performed by OGC.
What is retaliation?
- Retaliation includes any action of hostility taken against an individual for filing a report or supporting another’s report regarding a violation of policies, laws, or regulations. Examples of retaliation include discrimination within the workplace, harassment from coworkers or management, or coworker violations of personnel policies that affect you or that adversely affect your employment.
What if I sense that I am experiencing retaliation?
- If you believe you are experiencing retaliation for reporting an issue or concern, you can file a retaliation report with the Helpline, IA, OGC, or your direct supervisor.
For Supervisors Receiving Reported Concerns
What is my role as a supervisor if I receive a reported concern?
- If you receive a Helpline reported concern from your immediate staff or other employees, you are required to treat the matter and the individual reporting the concern with respect and fairness.
What documentation is needed to document a Helpline report?
- Encourage the employee to document concerns by completing the Allegation Report found in the Hotline and Whistleblower Policy. If the employee does not want to document his/her concerns, you should document his/her verbal concerns in writing.
To whom should I report the matter?
- As a supervisor, investigate the matter to determine the severity of the concern. If you cannot adequately resolve the matter, refer the matter to an appropriate supervisor.
- Direct matters to the Office for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity if the employee believes that he/she has experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, political affiliation, or educational matriculation. For matters regarding violations of law, fraud, economic waste, misconduct or mismanagement, gross incompetence, or inefficiency, report the matter to the Helpline, IA, or OGC.
What do I do if an employee reports to me that they have experienced retaliation for reporting a concern?
- Let the employee know that Howard will protect him or her from retaliation for reporting a concern to the Helpline. You should conduct an initial investigation into the retaliation claim and if appropriate, resolve the issue. If the matter cannot be adequately resolved by you or if the employee would prefer to formally report the matter, you should refer him or her to report the matter through the Helpline, or by contacting IA or OGC.
Additional Questions and Resources
If I have been accused of committing a violation of law, fraud, economic waste, misconduct or mismanagement, gross incompetence, or inefficiency, will I have the opportunity to provide an explanation or clarification of the matter?
- The purpose of the investigation is to discover the facts surrounding the allegation. Investigations will be conducted in a neutral and unbiased manner. IA or the department conducting the investigation will obtain a comprehensive understanding of the matter.
What other resources do I have?
- Policy: Hotline and Whistleblower Policy
- Howard University Health Sciences Compliance/Privacy Hotline: Contact the Howard University Health Sciences Compliance/Privacy Hotline at 1-800-654-0323 or HUH_Compliance@huhosp.org.
- Human Resources: Contact Howard’s Human Resources Department at 202-806-1280 or http://www.hr.howard.edu
- Equal Employment Opportunity: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, political affiliation, or educational matriculation (including sexual harassment) should be directed to 202-238-5960.
- Howard Risk Management and Compliance Office