Jump to Footer

Internal Control Policy


Policy Number Policy Owner
6010.1 VP of Administration

Revision History:

Date Version Change Ref Section
Pre-2006 1.0  New Document   
c. 2006 1.1 Minor Revisions  
9/22/2016 1.2 Minor Revisions   
1/5/2017 1.3 Minor Revisions  

Statement of Policy


In 1987, The New York State Governmental Accountability Act was enacted to formalize a system of productivity and accountability in all state agencies including SUNY campuses. The Act included provisions for strengthening campus internal controls and for measuring their effectiveness. Agencies received the following mandates: Establish and maintain guidelines for a formal internal control program. Establish internal control reviews for departmental managers to identify risks, weaknesses and corrective actions. Ensure that all employees understand the concept of internal control and their respective roles and responsibilities. Formally state the organization's policies and standards for all employees. Determine the manner of fulfilling the internal audit function. Designate an internal control officer to coordinate the program.

As required by law, SUNY Plattsburgh must annually certify that its Internal Control Program is in compliance with the Internal Control Act. In addition to the six standard requirements, the state may, from time to time, identify additional activities campuses are expected to complete as part of the on-going internal control program. Since internal control depends on the participation of all employees at every position level, all employees should be aware of the College's goals and their participating roles in attaining those goals. They should routinely exercise judgment and act to protect the institution and its resources from loss, waste, or damage. All employees need to exhibit the personal and professional traits of the responsible and productive person in seeking areas for improvement and acting in the best interests and protection of the institution and the public.


At every position level, all employees should be aware of the College's goals and their participation roles in attaining those goals. They should routinely exercise judgment and act to protect the institution and its resources from loss, waste, or damage. Our competence and professional integrity are essential components of a sound internal control program. By knowing what our responsibilities are, we can help to provide reasonable assurance that our internal control systems are adequate and operating in an efficient manner. This section will identify for the employees of the college some of those responsibilities. Employee Responsibilities Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities established in one's job description. Meeting applicable performance standards. Attending education and training programs as appropriate to increase awareness and understanding. Taking all reasonable steps to safeguard assets against waste, loss, unauthorized use and misappropriation. Reporting breakdowns in internal control systems to your supervisor. Refraining from the use of your official position to secure unwarranted privileges. Managers Responsibilities Maintaining an office environment that encourages employees to understand the purpose of such policies and procedures and support the maintenance of a positive internal control environment. Documenting policies and procedures that are to be followed in performing office functions. Identifying the control objectives for the functions and implementing cost effective controls designed to meet those objectives. Regularly testing the controls to determine if they are performing as intended. Commitment of Campus Leaders Employee attitude affects the quality of job performance and, as a result, the quality of internal controls. A positive attitude is initiated and fostered when internal controls are a consistent priority. From the president and vice presidents to the deans and directors, everyone must demonstrate commitment to the Internal Control Program. In addition, college officials should be open to employee suggestions concerning the campus' internal control systems. Users are the best source of improvements to a system. For more information go to: https://www.plattsburgh.edu/president/internalcontrolhome.php


In 1987, the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act, Chapter 814, became law and was effective April 1, 1989.  This law requires that all State Agencies, including SUNY Plattsburgh, establish and maintain a system of internal controls and internal control review.


Internal controls encompass the plan of organization and all of the coordinate methods and measures adapted within an organization to meet its mission; promote performance leading to effective accomplishment of goals; safeguard assets; check the accuracy and reliability of accounting data; promote operational efficiency; and encourage adherence to prescribed managerial policies and procedures.


Ensure the successful achievement of the Campus' mission. Determine that programs and operations are effective, efficient and economical. Ensure that we are in compliance with laws, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines. Ensure the accurate recording, preservation and reporting of financial and other key data. Ensure that assets are safeguarded including: Preventing or minimizing the waste, loss or unauthorized use of assets. Maintaining a complete inventory of equipment items and verifying the accuracy of this through regular periodic physical inventories.

The Employees' Role:

The policies which, by law, each employee is reasonably expected to comply with include: Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities established in his or her job description. Meeting education and training programs to achieve awareness and understanding of internal control standards. Taking all responsible steps to safeguard assets against waste, loss, unauthorized use and misappropriation. Prohibiting the use of his or her position to secure unwarranted privileges. When in doubt, ask your administrative supervisor to review the matter. Most of the above policies are found in the Public Officers Law, Performance Programs, Job Descriptions, and Policies of the Board of Trustees. Copies of these policies and standards, if you do not have them, may be viewed in the Office of Personnel; 9th floor, Kehoe Administration Building, 564-5062, or, except for the position descriptions and performance programs, are available in the Feinberg Library. In addition to the policies and standards listed above, there are many others that are periodically issued by the President and other College Officers, which you are expected to comply with where applicable. Examples of such policies and standards are in memorandum issued by: Office Personnel-campus smoking policy; alcohol and drug use policy; time and attendance policy & procedures, etc. Accounting Office-Travel Regulations, etc. University Police Office-Parking Regulations. Purchasing Office-Contract Service Guidelines. Other informational documents are often issued and distributed by the President, Vice Presidents, Business Officers, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads. Copies of such pertinent information should be available at your department office.

Specific Internal Control questions, or additional printed information, may be requested through the Accounts Payable Office, Kehoe 705, 564-3606.

Back to top