Frequently Asked Questions
- What is compliance?
- Why this increased emphasis on "compliance" within the UT System?
- Why does UTSA need a Compliance Program?
- Who is the Compliance Officer at UTSA?
- What are the responsibilities of the Compliance Officer?
- 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.
Why this increased emphasis on "compliance" within the UT System?
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:
- Designation of a System-wide Compliance Officer.
- The appointment of an Institutional Compliance Officer at System Administration and at each component institution.
- 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.
- The mandate for a continuous and proactive compliance function, which reports to the Institutional Compliance Officer at System Administration and each component institution.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reduces the risk of non-compliance that could result in significant harm to the institution's operations, finances or reputation.
- 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.
- Ensures that every employee is aware of the rules and regulations that apply to their job.
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:
- Establishing and maintaining a system that builds compliance consciousness into daily activities.
- Monitoring the various compliance program activities to ensure that they are being performed as designed.
- Communicating with the Senior Vice President for Institutional Strategic Planning, Compliance Risk Management, and Office Operations and others regarding compliance program activities and issues of non-compliance.
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 Specialists 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.
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 MyTraining system.
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.