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Reporting Fraud and Abuse

The Board of Education (BOE) wants Howard County residents to have the highest trust in the public officials and employees of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). Therefore, the Board expects school system employees to conduct themselves in a responsible, ethical manner at all times in the performance of their duties and to serve as good stewards of public funds.

Definition of Fraud and Abuse

Obtaining property owned by or under the control of the Board by means of false pretenses or representation including, but not limited to, bribery, kickbacks, illegal acts, forgery, theft, or embezzlement.

Expected behavior for Board members and employees is explained in BOE Policy 2070.

To deter fraud and abuse and ensure the appropriate use of public funds and resources, the HCPSS has established a Fraud Hotline. The HCPSS has contracted with an independent company, Global Compliance, to provide an easy, confidential way for Howard County residents and employees to report possible fraud and abuse. In filling a report, a person may choose to remain anonymous or to leave their name and information so the HCPSS can contact them if more information is needed. In either case, the information will be treated confidentially.

Reporting By HCPSS Employees

HCPSS employees should first consider reporting suspected fraud or abuse to their immediate supervisor. Employees should use the hotline if remaining anonymous is a consideration. HCPSS employees will be protected by the Board of Education from reprisal or retaliation. Please view Responsibility for Reporting Fraud and Abuse.

Reporting By Residents

Residents should report fraud and abuse to the Fraud Hotline.

Online: Global Compliance Services, Inc. — Login – HCPSS; Password – HCPSS

Telephone: 888-506-3259 (toll free)

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HCPSS Fraud Hotline?

The hotline is a mechanism by which HCPSS employees and residents can confidentially report alleged incidents of fraud or abuse to a contracted independent service provider located in North Carolina.

Why did the HCPSS implement a Fraud Hotline?

The HCPSS implemented a hotline to provide another deterrent to fraud and abuse in the school system, and to communicate its commitment to protect public resources.

What is the purpose of the Fraud Hotline?

The purpose of the hotline is to make it easier for employees and residents to report possible fraud and abuse. Employees should first consider reporting any allegation of fraud and abuse to their immediate supervisor. If remaining anonymous is a consideration, employees can use the hotline to report an allegation.

What is Fraud and Abuse?

Obtaining property owned by or under the control of the Board by means of false pretenses or representation including, but not limited to, bribery, kickbacks, illegal acts, forgery, theft, or embezzlement.

What issues should not be reported to the Fraud Hotline?

  • Bullying
  • Bus Complaints
  • Cafeteria Food
  • Employee Grievances, Harassment, etc.
  • Expense Reimbursements
  • Facilities
  • Health Issues
  • Paycheck Problems
  • Purchaseing/MBE
  • Report Out-of-District Students
  • Safety Issues
  • Schools Concerns (Ombudsman)
  • Student Attendance Issues

Why should I report Fraud and Abuse?

The Board of Education (BOE) and the HCPSS have demonstrated a commitment to establishing a positive, productive work environment and protecting HCPSS resources as well as maintaining high standards of integrity. By reporting any suspected illegal or improper activity, you help the board and the school system uphold this commitment.

Who can file a report using the Fraud Hotline?

Any employee or resident can use the hotline to file a report.

How can someone report an incident of Fraud and Abuse to the Fraud Hotline?

The hotline is available on a 24-hour basis, seven days per week and has the capacity to receive anonymous reports in 4 languages. Reports can be submitted in one of the following ways:

If my supervisor finds out that I made a report, can they fire me?

In establishing the hotline, the BOE and Superintendent stipulated that any reprisal or retaliatory action taken against an employee who makes a report of fraud and abuse over the hotline would not be condoned. All reports of reprisal or retaliation will be investigated and all employee rights and benefits restored.

Who operates the Fraud Hotline?

The HCPSS has contracted with Global Compliance Services, Inc., an independent company that provides hotline services to more than 4,000 customers in 200 different countries. The hotline provides a confidential means to anonymously report fraud and abuse anytime from any location where internet or telephone service is available.

What can I expect if I make a report online?

You will answer a series of questions. You should provide the information that you believe would be helpful to the timely resolution of your report.

What can I expect if I call the Fraud Hotline?

If you call, you can expect a professional, courteous and thorough interview conducted by a hotline operator from Global Compliance Services, Inc., who will guide you through a series of questions. You should provide the information that you believe would be helpful to the timely resolution of your report.

May I remain anonymous?

Yes. You may choose to remain anonymous. Calls are not recorded or traced and caller-ID is disconnected for our facilities. Reports made via the web cannot be traced back to your computer. However, please keep in mind that your decision for anonymity may limit our ability to conduct a complete investigation.

If I choose to identify myself to the Fraud Hotline service provider, will anyone else find out that I reported an incident of Fraud and Abuse?

If you identify yourself to the hotline service provider, your identity will only be shared with the HCPSS Internal Auditor, who reports to the Board of Education, or to the Coordinator of School Security, depending on the type of incident reported. Should the investigation require other HCPSS management to become involved, they also would need to be informed. Further, if an investigation results in criminal prosecution, it is possible that the records of the Internal Auditor or Coordinator may be subpoenaed by the court.