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Compliance Violation Reporting Procedure

I. Scope

This procedure applies to the College of William & Mary, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the "university"). It applies to all complaints about compliance matters (as defined below) made by students, employees of all types (including faculty), volunteers, and third parties such as parents of students and alumni.

This procedure does not replace or supersede existing mechanisms such as (for example):

  • Faculty Handbook procedures for addressing allegations of faculty misconduct,
  • Procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Honor Code for addressing complaints against students,
  • Commonwealth or university policies and procedures addressing allegations of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, or
  • The Fraud, Abuse and Waste Hotline.

Any complaint made under this procedure that is covered by such an existing policy or procedure will be referred as appropriate. [1]

II. Purpose

The university is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations as well as university and applicable state policies and procedures. To help identify compliance problems and concerns, the university has established the following procedure for submission of complaints regarding compliance matters and the treatment of such complaints.

III. Definitions

Complaint: any complaint, allegation, report, or concern made under this procedure.

Compliance matters: a matter regarding compliance with laws or regulations applicable to the university or university regulations or policies, including ethical codes. Examples of compliance matters include:

  • failure to comply with applicable federal or state laws, regulations;
  • failure to comply with university policies or procedures; and
  • conflicts of interest and other ethical breaches by university employees.

Good faith complaint: any complaint made under this procedure, except for one that the complainant knows to be false or made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the complaint.

IV. Procedure

A. Making Complaints. Employees (including volunteers and student workers, for complaints relating to their employee rather than student status) with complaints regarding compliance matters are encouraged to raise their concerns with their immediate supervisors or, if the concern is regarding their immediate supervisor, within their own business unit.  Employees and others are always free to report their concerns to the Compliance Office [2] or to one of the following offices, if appropriate:

  • Internal Audit – for complaints regarding financial reporting, auditing compliance, internal financial controls
  • VP for Research – for complaints regarding research misconduct, grants compliance
  • Human Resources – for complaints regarding compliance with personnel policies such as processing of leave, performance evaluations, and pay.

Complaints regarding compliance matters may be made by phone, email, regular mail, or in person to the Compliance Office:

Office of Compliance & Policy 
College of William & Mary
James Blair Hall, First Floor, Suite 110 (secure dropbox available for anonymous reporting)
Williamsburg, VA 23185
reportconcern@wm.edu

Other university offices receiving compliance complaints may also refer these matters to the Compliance Officer. Confidentiality is discussed under Section C below.

B. Treatment of Complaints. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Compliance Officer will: (i) determine whether the complaint pertains to a compliance matter, and (ii) when the sender’s contact information is provided, acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the sender. If the Officer determines that there is a policy or procedure under which the complaint should be processed, such as the procedures of the Faculty Handbook, she will refer the complaint as appropriate and typically will take no further action except to document the referral of the complaint and its ultimate disposition.

Complaints relating to compliance matters will be reviewed under the Compliance Officer's direction and with oversight by Compliance and Policy Office staff, Internal Audit, or such other persons as the Compliance Officer determines to be appropriate. The Compliance Officer will use his or her best efforts to investigate every complaint. The resources expended will depend upon: (1) the nature and severity of the allegation; and (2) the sufficiency and apparent validity of the information provided.

The Compliance Officer will work with senior management to ensure that prompt and appropriate corrective action is taken when and as needed.

C. Confidentiality and Protections for Individuals Making Complaints. Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate review. Complaints may be submitted anonymously, but full investigation and remediation of anonymous complaints may not be possible.

The university absolutely prohibits retaliation against any student or employee submitting a complaint in good faith, or from participating in a compliance investigation in good faith. This means, for example, that the university will not discipline, discharge, demote, suspend, threaten or harass any such individual based on their good faith reporting of complaints under this procedure.

D. Reporting and Retention of Records of Complaints and Investigations. The Compliance Officer will maintain a log of all complaints, tracking their receipt, investigation, and resolution and shall prepare a periodic summary report thereof for the President.

V. Related Policies or Other Documents

Policy on Granting Access to Electronic Records
Code of Ethics
Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline

[1] Typically, this will mean that the Compliance Officer forwards or communicates the complaint to the appropriate individual or committee. In some cases, however, the relevant policy or procedure requires that complaints be submitted only to designated individuals, in which case the Compliance Officer will return the complaint to the individual who submitted it and direct them on where (or with whom) to file it. If the complaint was submitted anonymously, the Compliance Officer may be unable to take any action.

[2] See Section I and accompanying footnote for discussion of how the Compliance Officer will handle complaints covered by existing university procedures.

Effective Date: July 1, 2011

Amended to make minor corrections and clarifications: March 6, 2012

Amended to update contact information and office names and addresses: November 19, 2012, June 21, 2013, and October 23, 2013