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.
Board Policy 2070, Ethics, states that it is the responsibility of all Board members and employees to be alert for any indications of fraud and abuse involving HCPSS funds or property. Any Board member or employee who has knowledge of an occurrence of fraud and abuse, or has reason to suspect that such an event has occurred, will notify his/her immediate supervisor. If there is reason to believe that this supervisor may be involved, the employee will instead notify his/her supervisor’s supervisor, principal, program manager, or director.
Defining Fraud and Abuse
Fraud and Abuse is defined as 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. Fraud and abuse does not include issues such as bullying, bus complaints, cafeteria food, employee grievances, paycheck problems, safety, etc.
The Board will make every effort to protect the identity of the reporter and the information provided. Other HCPSS management and law enforcement may be involved in investigating information. The court may subpoena records of an investigation if an investigation results in criminal prosecution. The Board will protect employees reporting information from any retaliatory acts, will investigate all reports of reprisal or retaliation, and will restore all employee rights and benefits if needed.
Employees can maintain anonymity by providing written reports to the Board’s Internal Auditor (formerly through a Fraud Hotline) and not identifying themselves. Please keep in mind that a decision for anonymity may limit the ability to conduct a complete investigation.
Please complete this report (form) if you prefer to report to the Board’s Internal Auditor and/or you wish to report anonymously.
Please email the form to David_Clark@hcpss.org or mail the form to David Clark, Internal Auditor, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042. If you have questions, you can email or mail the Internal Auditor or call 410-294-9787.