The University is a large organisation whose actions have an impact on the life and livelihood of students, employees, suppliers, business contacts, the local population etc. It is responsible for the expenditure of large sums of money from public and private sources, including research charities and individual students, and is very visible in the local and national community. For the University to function effectively, it is essential that it is viewed by all interested parties as honest, ethical and open in the conduct of its affairs, both financial and non-financial. The University Financial Regulations contain arrangements to guard against fraud and financial mismanagement, some of which are referred to below; the ethical conduct of all individuals in the University is also important.
Commitment to Ethical Behaviour
The University is committed to the highest ethical standards. In all dealings with commercial partners, the interest of the University must be paramount and personal or family gain, or the perception thereof, must be avoided.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
All laws and regulations applicable to the business of the University must be complied with.
Gifts, hospitality, private work and conflicts of interest
The other regulations section of the Financial Regulations which address gifts and hospitality, private work and conflicts of interest must be complied with.
Conflicts of interest may arise in non-financial matters where individuals are in a position to make decisions, which have a significant impact on others. Examples are in staff recruitment or promotion and in selection and assessment of students. In all cases, decision making should be open and fair and be able to stand up to external scrutiny. Situations where a conflict of interest is present should be identified so that individuals are not open to accusations of bias.
From time to time, individuals will become aware of confidential information, either about other individuals or about the University’s commercial or academic activities. Such information must be kept confidential and all policies relating to information security and confidentiality must be complied with.
Policy on Intellectual Property
The requirements within the University’s Policy on Intellectual Property relating to confidentiality and reporting of conflicts of interest must be complied with.
All members of Council and employees should act with integrity at all times and should not engage in fraudulent activity of any kind. Fraud includes a range of irregularities and illegal acts characterised by intentional deception e.g. obtaining property or services by deception, false accounting. Fraud may be committed for the benefit of the organisation e.g. tax fraud, or it may be for the direct or indirect benefit of the employee or a third party.
The University is committed to ensure that it has cost-effective controls and procedures to prevent, detect, deter and deal with fraud. Financial Regulation G14 – Irregularities – outlines the action to be taken by anyone who believes that an irregularity or fraud has occurred or is about to take place.
Public interest disclosure
The University’s public interest disclosure procedures provide a mechanism for staff and students to raise serious concerns which are in the public interest, without fear of reprisal.