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Internal Control Memo

A memo from President Ettling 

Date: November 5, 2018
To: Campus Community
From: John Ettling, President
Re: Internal Controls at SUNY Plattsburgh

Campus Community,

Being a good steward of the resources entrusted to the college is a critical role each of us plays.

To ensure we incorporate this ethic into the fabric of our organization, we have in place an established Internal Control Program. This helps us take a systematic approach as we work to ensure the proper use of the college's resources and reduce waste at a time of heightened scrutiny of public higher education.

I am writing to affirm my continuing commitment to this program and share some details of this ongoing effort with you. Some critical elements of our Internal Control Program include:

Regular Reviews

An Internal Control Committee with wide campus representation works under the leadership of Josee Larochelle, Vice President for Administration and Finance (Internal Control Officer) and David Gregoire, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement (Internal Control Coordinator). It conducts reviews of operational procedures within selected offices to determine the effectiveness of existing controls. Reviews sometime result in suggested changes to operating practices or may simply establish that existing controls appear adequate. Examples of past reviews include property control, procurement, personnel and payroll, financial aid, computer operations, cash management, and the college’s general control environment. Many thanks to everyone who has participated in reviews, and I urge your continued full support and participation in this important risk mitigation process.

Responsibility of Employees

Developing and maintaining adequate policies and procedures, communicating goals and objectives, understanding and following relevant campus, state and federal policies, rules and regulations, and establishing appropriate checks and balances are essential elements of an internal control system. While the Internal Control Committee coordinates campus-wide efforts, department managers are responsible for establishing and adhering to a sound system of internal controls for their areas of responsibility and respective employees are responsible for complying with the established internal controls.

Telephone Hotline

Unfortunately, there can be occasions when faculty, staff, and students intentionally or unintentionally misuse state funds, equipment, and supplies or participate in irregular activities or unethical practices. Anonymous reports to the Internal Control Committee can be made through the Internal Control Hotline (voice mailbox) at 866-633-6112. If you notice something unusual, report it. Your information – not your name – could prove useful in reducing losses and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.

Training Modules

As a recipient of federal funding, an agency of the State of New York, and a campus within the SUNY system, the college is subject to numerous laws, regulations, and policies governing its operations. Many of these mandates require employees engage in periodic compliance training. To achieve this, the college uses WeComply, a set of on-line training modules to deliver required training to all employees. These modules allow the campus to do a better job in delivering and tracking necessary and/or mandatory compliance training. Training modules to date have spanned a variety of issues, including sexual harassment, workplace violence, active shooter preparedness, information security and public officer’s law.

You can learn more online. An "Introduction to Internal Control” brochure is located at https://www.plattsburgh.edu/about/offices-divisions/administration-finance/internal-control/index.html along with other information about our program. All supervisors are also encouraged to review the information with their staff and discuss internal controls and how they relate to their specific operations.

Should you have questions about the Internal Control Program or want to schedule a training session or individual meeting, please contact David Gregoire at 518-564-3613

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