U introduces new Compliance Hotline
University employees have a new place to raise concerns regarding financial, regulatory or patient safety issues: The Compliance Hotline at 1-866-990-0111 or online at www.compliancehotline.umich.edu.
"As a public institution, the University must be a responsible steward of financial resources and the public trust," says Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Timothy Slottow. "The University is committed to providing a safe environment where individuals can identify instances of fraud and other serious concerns. The hotline is part of that commitment."
The hotline provides a universal reporting mechanism that reflects best practices in financial controls as represented by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Slottow explains. Congress overwhelmingly approved SOX in 2002 to promote honest and ethical conduct in markets.
A number of peer institutions, including the University of California system, Arizona State University, DePaul University, the University of Chicago, Michigan State University and the University of Texas system, are using similar hotlines to ensure regulatory compliance and to strengthen financial controls, Slottow adds.
The hotline, which replaces the U-M Health System's existing internal reporting system, promises to consolidate and simplify reporting, says Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs. The new hotline does not replace other existing internal reporting systems such as the Office for Institutional Equity, Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and the Animal Concern Hotline.
"Employees who observe questionable activities also are encouraged to pursue other resolution methods first, such as talking to a supervisor," Kelch says. "The Compliance Hotline is useful when the person reporting the concern is not aware of other channels or wishes to remain anonymous. Callers may choose to remain anonymous with the understanding that anonymity may hinder some inquiries."
The hotline is not for reporting crimes or medical emergencies. Employees who need emergency assistance or believe a crime is in progress should call 911. Issues related to academic or teaching concerns also are outside the scope of the hotline and should be reported to the head of the academic unit, the Office of the Vice President for Research or the Office of the Provost. Students who wish to report a compliance issue are encouraged to contact the Division of Student Affairs.
The hotline is managed by an external company with a multi-lingual staff of trained interview specialists who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The firm that receives and processes hotline calls forwards reports to the University office responsible for handling the area of concern. The appropriate U-M office evaluates and follows up according to normal University procedures, including verifying the accuracy of the report.
At the end of a hotline call, the representative gives a confirmation number and asks the caller to call back in 14 days. The caller can use the confirmation number to check the status of the report.
For more information about the hotline, please see the Web site FAQ at www.med.umich.edu/compliancehotline/faq.htm.
Other reporting mechanisms in place at U-M
Discrimination or Harassment: Call the Office of Institutional Equity at (734) 763-0235; www.umich.edu/~hraa/oie
Patient Ethics/Bioethics Consult Request: Call (734) 615-1379
Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals at U-M: Contact the Animal Concern Hotline at www.ucuca.umich.edu/hotline.htm or call (734) 763-8028 or submit an anonymous online report at www.ucuca.umich.edu/hotline.htm
Occupational Safety or Environmental Health: Call (734) 647-1143.