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Compliance - Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is compliance?

Why this increased emphasis on "compliance" within the UT System in the last few years?

Why does UTSA need a Compliance Program?

Who is the Compliance Officer at UTSA?

What are the responsibilities of the Compliance Officer?

Who can answer my questions about compliance?

Why does UTSA have a Hotline?

What if I only suspect something is wrong but don't know for sure?

Why do I need to take compliance training?

What is the difference between General and Specialized Compliance Training?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is compliance?
For every employee at UTSA, compliance is knowing and doing the right thing. However, at the institutional level, compliance is simply good management. As a university, we operate in a very complex regulatory environment and we face tremendous risk on a daily basis. Compliance is knowing what our risks are and ensuring that our resources are appropriately allocated to provide reasonable assurance that our most critical risks are adequately mitigated. This proactive approach to compliance helps UTSA to achieve its goals and objectives.

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Why this increased emphasis on "compliance" within the UT System in the last few years?
In the wake of several major instances of non-compliance within the UT System that resulted in negative publicity, fines or loss of funding, the Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents requested that the Chancellor develop an Action Plan to Ensure Institutional Compliance. The Action Plan was developed in 1998 and includes the following key elements:

  1. Designation of a System-wide Compliance Officer.
  2. The appointment of an Institutional Compliance Officer at System Administration and at each component institution.
  3. The creation of a UT System-wide Compliance Committee and parallel Compliance Committees at System Administration and each component institution which meets at least quarterly.
  4. The mandate for a continuous and proactive compliance function, which reports to the Institutional Compliance Officer at System Administration and each component institution.
  5. The allocation of sufficient resources at System Administration and at each component institution to fund compliance activities (including information resources, training, and monitoring activities) that reduce compliance risk to a reasonably low level.
  6. The requirement that the Institutional Compliance Officers and Committees at System Administration and the component institutions report their activities to the UT System-wide Compliance Officer at least quarterly.

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Why does UTSA need a Compliance Program?
A Compliance Program is a self-governance infrastructure that achieves the following objectives:

  1. Reduces the risk of non-compliance that could result in significant harm to the institution's operations, finances or reputation.
  2. Provides evidence to external entities, e.g., Texas Legislature, Federal oversight authorities, and UT System that UTSA has a system in place to identify and actively manage risks and provide positive assurance to executive management.
  3. Ensures that every employee is aware of the rules and regulations that apply to their job.

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Who is the Compliance Officer at UTSA?
Mr. J. Richard Dawson , Executive Director of Audit, Compliance and Risk Services is the Compliance Officer.

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What are the responsibilities of the Compliance Officer?
The Compliance Officer oversees the Compliance Program to ensure that the infrastructure of the program is adequate and that it is operating effectively. Some specific responsibilities include:

  1. Establishing and maintaining a system that builds compliance consciousness into daily activities.
  2. Monitoring the various compliance program activities to ensure that they are being performed as designed.
  3. Communicating with the President and others regarding compliance program activities and issues of non-compliance.

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Who can answer my questions about compliance?

  1. The answers to many common compliance questions can be found in the Employee Standards of Conduct Guide which is located on the Institutional Compliance Web site.
  2. If the Guide does not answer your question, you are encouraged to go to your supervisor with questions.
  3. If your supervisor cannot answer your question or you feel uncomfortable asking your supervisor, you have a variety of offices you can go to depending on the issue you are trying to resolve. These offices and their phone numbers are also listed in the Employee Standards of Conduct Guide.
  4. If the Office of Institutional Compliance is unable to answer your questions, they will put you in contact with someone who can.

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Why does UTSA have a Hotline?
A hotline is a part of an early warning system that enables management to react quickly to investigate issues, and often resolve problems prior to costly litigation or negative publicity. A company called The Network operates UTSA's hotline and trained Interview Specialist take the callers' information and relay it to UTSA. More information about the Hotline can be accessed via the Hotline Information page in the Institutional Compliance Web site.

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What if I only suspect something is wrong but don't know for sure?
Discuss it with your supervisor or someone in management at UTSA.

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Why do I need to take compliance training?
It is critical that every employee at UTSA is aware of the key compliance issues that impact their jobs on a daily basis; as a result, training is a cornerstone of UTSA's Institutional Compliance Program. The University has adopted a web-based training approach that provides employees with the knowledge they need in a flexible and user-friendly format. All employees are required to meet the requirements of the General Compliance Training Program, and non-compliance is reported to supervisors.
General Compliance Training modules can be accessed via the Institutional Compliance web site.

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What is the difference between General and Specialized Compliance Training?
All employees are required to take General Compliance Training. Specialized Training is related only to areas that have been identified through the risk assessment process as Institutional High Risks and only individuals who interact with those areas are required to complete specialized training.

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