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Coffeepot Chatter: The Ethics and Compliance Hotline

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Maria:  Harry, I was at a party during the holidays where a woman was bragging about the great gift she received from one of her company’s vendors – cruise tickets valuing several hundred dollars. How can she accept that?

Harry: Is the question ‘can she’ or ‘should she’?

Maria: Hmm, maybe her company allows that. However, If I were in that situation the first words out of my mouth would be, “I simply can’t accept this.”

Harry: And that’s why you work here. You’re a person of integrity. What would you do if you heard of a Lehigh employee accepting an expensive gift or service?

Maria: Well, I would want to bring it to the attention of the right person. . . in fact, isn’t there a hotline for stuff like that?

Harry: Yes there is.

An Assurance of Confidentiality and Follow-Through

Whether it’s a generous gift, the misuse of an employee’s time, a conflict of interest or another matter that is raising an ethics concern for you at Lehigh, you have the ability to bring it to someone’s attention and have it looked into. And you can do so confidentially and anonymously.

Lehigh’s Ethics and Compliance Hotline (888-924-4450 or http://www.lehigh.edu/~iniao/hotline.htmlis) is externally managed by a third party vendor. This ensures confidentiality and eliminates potential conflicts of interest.

Information received by the hotline is addressed by either Lehigh’s Internal Audit Office or by the Office of the General Counsel.  Bob Eichenlaub, Director of the Internal Audit Office, says once the appropriate office is given the information, it will be investigated.

“The person who calls with a concern receives a password and he or she is encouraged to check in with the hotline to see if further information or clarification is needed from us,” he said.

If Internal Audit or the General Counsel do have further questions for the person who made the call, they will speak with the hotline vendor who serves as a go-between and thus maintains anonymity.

Lehigh University expects its employees to perform their duties in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, University policy and procedures, and the highest ethical standards. These values are so important that the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees has directed that it receive a report on matters reported through the Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

“Hotline callers can be assured that the information they share is being addressed by us and is shared with leaders at the highest level of the University,” Bob noted.

Spreading The Word



Y
ou may have noticed bold posters around campus in the last year promoting use of the Ethics and Compliance Hotline. Bob says they wanted to reach as many campus community members as possible with the message that if you feel Lehigh’s ethics are being compromised, you can and should do something about it.

Lehigh encourages anyone who sees or hears something they find troubling to take advantage of the hotline. As the poster says, you can do something..

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to hik210@lehigh.edu, or call extension 85165.

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