FAQ - Internal Controls

What exactly are internal controls?

Some internal controls are obvious (laws, policies, and procedures, contracts, budgets), some are security related (identification cards, passwords, locks, keys, gates, alarms) and others are not so obvious (performance evaluations, accreditation standards, time and attendance records, the Faculty Senate, the Budget Committee, the Student Government Association). Regardless of the form the internal control takes, each is designed to protect the College’s personnel and resources from loss, waste, or damage.

Does the College have an Internal Control program?

Yes, the New York State Governmental Accountability Act requires that all state agencies including SUNY campuses establish and maintain such a program. Annually, the SUNY Old Westbury is required to certify to SUNY System Administration and the Office of the State Comptroller that our internal controls are functioning properly.

The College’s Internal Control Program is designed to monitor the attainment of the College’s goals and protect its resources. Since good internal controls depend heavily on the participation of all faculty, students, staff and administrative personnel, an understanding of the College’s goals and your role and responsibilities in attaining those goals is  essential.

You listed policies as a type of Internal Control. Where can I find College Policies?

College Policies can be found on the College at Old Westbury website under Policies. If you have a suggestion for a College policy, please contact the College’s Office of the Senior Vice President, Business & Finance and CFO with your suggestion and, if feasible, staff will work with you and others in developing and gaining approval.

Is there training offered to employees regarding internal controls?

Ongoing training to educate employees on the basics of internal controls and the importance of their role in the internal control system is mandatory. The level of training and education varies depending upon the degree of responsibilities of the employee. Training is targeted to three separate levels of employees: executives, management and line staff. The training requirement for permanent employees is at least once every three years. In addition, training is available to all new employees shortly after their appointment.

What should I do if I suspect fraud, waste or abuse of College resources?

You should report it. Each of us can help strengthen internal controls by being alert to activities or situations which may hinder attainment of departmental or College goals or that may pose risks of loss or harm to personnel or assets. If you become aware of such matters, please report them to your supervisor, your professor, or preferably the College’s Internal Control Officer. Department heads, supervisors, deans and faculty chairpersons also have additional responsibilities for internal control, including reporting and taking appropriate action through the College’s organizational structure to correct deficiencies and implementing recommendations from internal control reviews, tests and audits of our operations.

Will there be any repercussions if I report a suspected case of fraud or misuse of College assets and the allegation is found not to be correct?

No. If you are reporting in “good faith” there will be no repercussions. You may also report anonymously but we do ask that you have a reasonable basis for the allegation.

Does the College have a fraud hotline?

The College does not have a fraud hotline but if you suspect any fraud, waste, abuse or irregular activities within the College, you may report these allegations in person or anonymously in writing to the Senior Vice President, Business & Finance and CFO or the Assistant to the President for Administration. Please provide as much detail as possible so that the matter can be investigated properly.