Fraud, Theft and Misappropriation of University Assets (Policy)

Fraud, Theft and Misappropriation of University Assets (Policy)

Topic: Employees, Employment and Workplace
Approval Authority: Board of Governors
Approval Date: February 27, 2024
Effective Date: June 21, 2010

1. Purpose

1.1  York University recognizes the importance of protecting the institution, its operations, employees, assets, and reputation from fraudulent activity.

1.2. The purpose of this policy is to set expectations of behaviour from community members, uphold the University’s commitment toward responding to acts of non-academic fraud and protecting community members from potential reprisals associated with reporting on fraudulent activity.

2.  Scope and Application

This policy applies to all University community members such as employees, agents, contractors, visiting scholars, procurement partners, volunteers, and any others acting on behalf of, or in partnership with, the University or doing business with the University to carry out their responsibilities.

3.  Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

3.1 University Assets: Tangible and intangible assets, data, property, or funds, whether owned or in the care of the University.

3.2  Fraud:  All fraudulent transactions defined in the Criminal Code, any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others resulting in the University suffering a loss and/or the perpetrator(s) achieving an unfair personal or business advantage. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a. Theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, destruction, removal, or concealment of University Assets, including property under the University’s care and/or control (including furniture, fixtures, equipment, data and, intellectual property),

b. Forgery, falsification, misrepresentation, alteration and destruction of accounts, documents, or records (paper and electronic),

c. Authorizing or receiving payment for goods and services not received or performed,

d. Authorizing or receiving payment for time not worked,

e. Stealing, altering, or deliberately reporting incorrect financial and/or personal information,

f. Unauthorized and/or inappropriate use of University Assets, claiming for, or authorizing of, reimbursement of expenses not incurred for the benefit of the University,

g. Engaging in bribery, corruption, kickbacks or seeking unauthorized rebates or gains,

h. Any form of bid-rigging,

i. Identity theft,

j. Presenting oneself as having an authority not possessed,

k. Aiding, abetting, or concealing the fraud of another,

l. Aiding, abetting or concealing money laundering, organized crime activities.

4. Policy

4.1 Standard of behaviour:

a. York University has a duty to act as a steward and custodian of University assets.

b. York University expects its community members and any others acting on behalf of, or in partnership with, the University or doing business with the University to carry out their responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and to deal honestly with the University’s assets and resources.

c. All University community members are responsible for maintaining ethical conduct when following the internal control processes and policies established by the University.

4.2 Disclosure of evidence of wrongdoing:

a. The University supports community members who are aware of or who suspect fraudulent activity to disclose and/or provide evidence of theft, fraud, or other misappropriation of university assets or resources to persons in authority.

b. The University is committed to maintaining procedures which provide for anyone to disclose evidence of wrongdoing without fear of reprisal in respect thereto.

4.3 Investigation and other action:

a. Upon being provided with evidence of dishonest behavior or fraudulent activity, the University will take the steps available to investigate the matter and may take any additional action, including such remedies as available by law.

b. University community members and any others acting on behalf of the University or doing business with it shall, if and when asked, be expected to cooperate fully with any investigation.

c. Parties found to be non-compliant with this policy will be subject to appropriate corrective action, in accordance with the provisions and procedures of any applicable collective agreements, legislation and University policy.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 Vice President Finance and Administration shall oversee the development of such procedures as may be required from time to time to give effect to this policy.

5.2. University Community Members are to conduct themselves in an ethical manner and are expected to report any suspicious or fraudulent activity as defined in this policy to persons in authority as per the outlined procedure.

6. Review

This policy will be reviewed every 5 years at a minimum. During the review period this policy will remain in full force and effect.

Legislative History: Reviewed by President and Vice-Presidents, June 16, 2009; Approved by Board of Governors June 21, 2010; Revised and approved by the Board of Governors February 27, 2024
Date of Next Review: May 2029
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: