What is Internal Audit's responsibility in respect of fraud?
Fraud is dishonestly obtaining someone else's property by deception. There are a number of criminal offences that can be committed by fraudsters depending upon the particular circumstances of the case. Fraud is also a disciplinary offence if committed by University staff.
Auditors do not specifically hunt for fraud. However, they need to take it into account in undertaking their work. The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors' Practice Guide "Internal Auditing and Fraud" states "Although management and the board are ultimately responsible for fraud deterrence, internal auditors can assist management by determining whether the organisation has adequate internal controls and fosters an adequate control environment".
In the normal course of their work auditors may therefore become aware of a material fraud. If so, they will investigate it. They do not specifically seek out fraud as part of their normal duties.
What happens if a fraud is discovered on the audit?
Where we do find or suspect fraud, management are informed about this immediately as is the University's Group Finance Director. A fraud investigation will then begin. Depending upon the severity of the case, this investigation might be conducted by Internal Audit or by the police.
Can I report suspicions to Internal Audit in confidence?
Yes, you can do so through the University's Whistleblowing Procedure. If you are considering this course of action you should read the procedure carefully.
What risks do I run if I make a report of suspected fraud?
The whistleblowing procedure guarantees anonymity initially. However, there may come a point at which your evidence might be required to discipline or prosecute a member of staff who has perpetrated the fraud.