Office of the Internal Auditor

Reporting Unlawful or Unethical Activities

Western is committed to integrity, responsibility and accountability in all our work. In alignment with this committment, university policy requires all employees to immediately report known or suspected losses to Western's Internal Audit Department. The policy defines a loss as the unauthorized taking of university (public or non-public) funds or property or other illegal activity, and may include, but is not limited to:

  • Any dishonest or fraudulent act resulting in financial loss to the university.
  • Forgery or alteration of records or documents.
  • Any misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, furniture, equipment or other asset.
  • Acceptance of kickbacks or bribes.
  • Irregularities in the handling or reporting of money transactions.
  • Use of university facilities and equipment for private financial gain.
  • Participation by personnel in transactions with the university that result in economic gain to themselves, their immediate families, or a business with which they are directly associated.
  • Any unauthorized access to or personal use of financial information.
  • Any successful computer hacking effort, infiltration of information databases.
  • Impersonations leading to the defrauding of university customers.
  • Theft, loss or damage to portable computing devices that may contain student records (e.g. FERPA), medical records (e.g. HIPAA) and/or non-public financial records.

If you know, or suspect, that any of these incidents have occurred, or suspect any other potential violations of laws, regulations, or university policies, it is your duty to report it.

How to Report

Employees may report concerns directly to the Office of the Internal Auditor. If you are not comfortable discussing your concerns directly with the Office of the Internal Auditor, or wish to remain anonymous, you are encouraged to report through our third-party Fraud & Ethics hotline, hosted by Lighthouse Services. The Fraud & Ethics hotline is a 24-hour confidential and anonymous resource for reporting violations of financial fraud, theft, embezzlement, ethics violations, and waste of university resources.

You may use any of the following methods to submit a report through the hotline:

The information you provide will be sent to the Office of the Internal Auditor by Lighthouse Services. The Office of the Internal Auditor follows up on all reports made through the hotline. Information will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation and in accordance with applicable law.

Whistleblower Protection

The Washington State Whistleblower Act provides protections to the whistleblower against retaliation if the complainant acts in good faith when reporting improper governmental actions appropriately through the Office of the State Auditor or one of Western’s designees. If you wish to file a complaint under the Washington State Whistleblower program, please go to https://www.sao.wa.gov/report-a-concern/how-to-report-a-concern/whistleblower-program/

If you wish to make an official Washington State Whistleblower report through one of Western's official designees, please refer to the list of designees on the Office of the Internal Auditor's Reporting Improper Government Action web page at http://www.wwu.edu/internalaudit/improper.shtml

Other WWU Resources

Western's Fraud & Ethics hotline does not replace existing compliance reporting methods and resolution options for other types of issues such as public safety, violence prevention, human resource, research misconduct, equal opportunity, and intercollegiate athletics. For concerns and complaints related to these issues (that do not involve financial fraud or ethics violations), please contact the appropriate departments directly.

The Fraud & Ethics hotline is NOT a 911 or emergency service

For emergency assistance with an immediate threat to life or property, call 911. For non-emergency assistance on campus call University Policy at 360-650-3555. Reports submitted through this service may not receive an immediate response.