Internal Control Memo
A memo from President Ettling
Date: September 18, 2017
To: Campus Community
From: John Ettling, President
Re: Internal Controls at SUNY Plattsburgh
I want to take this opportunity to affirm my continued commitment to the college’s Internal Control Program. Because all of us play an important role in reducing waste and the improper use of resources, I want to bring to your attention some critical elements of our Internal Control Program below.
Internal Control Reviews The Internal Control Committee – under the leadership of Josee Larochelle, Vice President for Administration, (Internal Control Officer) and David Gregoire, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement (Internal Control Coordinator) – conducts reviews of operational procedures within selected departments/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 the reviews, and I urge your continued full support and participation in keeping our risks low.
Internal Controls Maintenance 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 all 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.
Internal Control Hotline Unfortunately, there will 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.
Compliance Training 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 that employees engage in periodic compliance training. To achieve this goal, the college continues to use 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.
Learn more about our Internal Control Program The Internal Control Committee has published an "Introduction to Internal Control” brochure, which is located online along with other information about our Internal Control Program. All supervisors are also encouraged to review the information with their staff and to have a dialogue about internal controls and how they relate to their specific operations.
In Closing Each member of the campus community plays a critical role in our Internal Control Program. Being good stewards of the resources entrusted to us, modeling ethical behavior while meeting our job requirements, and suggesting opportunities for improvement are ways that we can all put these core values into practice every day. Establishing and then following a system of effective internal control are a means by which we incorporate these values into the fabric of our organization and safeguards the college at a time of heightened scrutiny of public higher education.
Should you have questions about the Internal Control Program or want to schedule a training session or individual meeting, please contact David Gregoire, Internal Control Coordinator (564-3613).