Fraud Policy

Article I: General

The Friends of MontanaPBS requires directors, officers, volunteers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities and to model those behaviors to the public at large. This policy is established to facilitate the development of controls that will aid in the detection and prevention of fraud again the Friends of MontanaPBS. It is the Friends of Montana PBS’s intent to promote consistent organizational behavior by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility for the development of controls and the conduct of investigations. 

Article II: Scope of Policy

  1. This policy applies to any irregularity, or suspected irregularity involving employees, directors, officers, volunteers, consultants, vendors, contractors and any other parties with a business relationship with the Friends of MontanaPBS. 
  2. Any investigative activity required will be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position/title or relationship to the Friends of MontanaPBS. 
  3. For purposes of this policy, fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation of concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to his or her injury. Actions constituting fraud include, but are not limited to:
    1. Any instance of the use of dishonest methods to acquire something of value;
    2. Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or other assets;
    3. Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions;
    4. Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of Friends of MontanaPBS activities;
    5. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential, proprietary or sensitive security information to outside parties;
    6. Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors or persons providing services or materials from Friends of MontanaPBS. Gifts with a value less than $50 are excepted;
    7. Destruction, removal or inappropriate use of records, furniture, fixtures and equipment;
    8. Any similar or related irregularity.

Article III: Fraud Prevention

The Finance/Audit Committee shall be responsible for implementing internal controls over accounting and finance that minimize opportunities for misappropriation of funds and securities. The Board of Directors shall adopt policies that reduce the risk of other actions constituting fraud as defined above.  Each member of the Board and management team shall be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility and be alert for any indication of irregularity.

Article IV: Reporting and Investigation

  1. All information received regarding irregularities shall be treated confidentially.  Anyone who in good faith suspects dishonest or fraudulent activity will notify either the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee or the Chair of the Board of Directors and shall not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews/interrogations related to any suspected fraudulent acts. The employee or other complainant shall remain anonymous. The reporting individual should be informed of the following:
    1. Do not contact the suspected individual in an attempt to determine facts or demand restitution;
    2. Do not discuss the case, facts, suspicions or allegations with anyone unless specifically asked to do so by the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee.
  2. Those individuals who, in good faith, report alleged irregularities or provide information during an investigation shall not be the subject of reprisal, retaliation or retribution. Any individual who believes he or she is experiencing reprisal, retaliation or retribution shall report such actions to the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee or Chair of the Board of Directors.
  3. This policy does not excuse knowingly providing false information. Anyone who provides false information shall be subject to disciplinary action appropriate to the person’s role with the Friends.
  4. All inquiries concerning the activity under investigation from the suspected individual, his or her attorney or representative or any other inquirer should be directed to Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee. No information concerning the status of an investigation will be given out. The proper response to any inquiry is: “I am not at liberty to discuss this matter.” Under no circumstances should any reference be made to “the allegation,” “the crime,” “the fraud” or any other specific reference.
  5. Investigation results will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those who have a legitimate need to know. This is important in order to avoid damaging the reputations of persons suspected but subsequently found innocent of wrongful conduct and to protect the Friends of Montana PBS from potential civil liability.
  6. The Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee will appoint an investigator to look into any allegations. The investigator may be a member of staff, another board member or an outside consultant. The investigator shall have free and unrestricted access to all Friends records and premises, including the authority to examine, copy and/or remove all or any portions of the contents of files, desks, cabinets and other storage facilities without prior consent or knowledge of any individual who might use or have custody of any such items or facilities within the scope of the investigation.

Article V: Recommendation and Action

  1. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall make a recommendation to the Finance/Audit Committee. The investigator may recommend:
    1. That no action is warranted.
    2. That disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, is warranted.
    3. That civil or criminal prosecution is warranted.
  2. If an investigation results in a recommendation to discipline an individual, the recommendation will be reviewed by the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee in conjunction with the Board Chair and Legal Counsel. A recommendation to take civil or criminal action must be reviewed by the Friends of MontanaPBS Board of Directors. 

Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Friends of MontanaPBS, August 15th, 2014