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PCC offers Web site for financial disclosures
Photos and Story by James Hill
The irony of having a really good system to empower whistleblowers is, you pray you never need it.
That’s the situation Portland Community College finds itself in as it unveils EthicsPoint software this summer. EthicsPoint is a Web site and a toll-free telephone number for students, staff and faculty – and for the community at large – to report potentially inappropriate financial activity committed by someone at PCC.
“It’s a flexible, anonymous and confidential reporting system,” said Steve Hopf, procurement manager for the college. “It’s designed to assist us in maintaining our sustainable, ethical culture, which is critical to long-term institutional success.”
Here’s how it works. If you suspect that something financially inappropriate has been done at PCC, you can call (888) 219-3658 or go to www.pcc.edu/ethics, to make a report.
Reports also can be filed from the www.ethicspoint.com Web site.
Incidents such as assaults or sexual harassment aren’t for EthicsPoint, which is designed for financial misdeeds only. Those reports should go to Human Resources or the Diversity/Equity Department.
Reports can be, but do not have to be, confidential. The Web site – or the telephone operator at the Beaverton headquarters of EthicsPoint – will let anyone report a suspected violation, where and when it occurred, and additional information regarding the situation.
“EthicsPoint is one major step for the college to improve our ability to maintain its financial integrity and be a good steward of public funds,” said Wing-Kit Chung, PCC vice president for administrative services. “When fully implemented, it will make the process for reporting fraud and other financial improprieties at PCC more accessible and more transparent than the current process.”
Anybody, including students, faculty, staff, suppliers, contractors and members of the public at large, can use the system to submit a good-faith report regarding concerns about financial impropriety at PCC without fear of retaliation.
“EthicsPoint is just one more step in doing our due diligence for our students and employees,” Hopf added.
The site became available for use at midnight on June 30.