1. The University has been in existence for over 18 years. Why do we need a Code of Conduct now?
A Code of Conduct and policies are a set of guidelines we believe that members of the University community are already following. Many activities within the University have related policies and guidelines even though they might not be called by this name.
The University Code of Conduct and Compliance polices complement and reinforce these existing guidelines. They do not replace them.
2. How will my daily work be affected by the Code of Conduct and Policies?
Your daily work should not be changed. You are already following the principles in the Code of Conduct and policies.
3. How will you know whether all members of the University community have received a copy of the Code of Conduct and policies?
All current members of the University have received or will receive a copy of the Code of Conduct. New faculty members and staff will receive the Code of Conduct during their orientation process.
4. Will I get into trouble if I report what I believe is a potential violation of the Code of Conduct or policies and then the incident is judged not to be a violation?
No, as long as you sincerely believe a violation may have occurred. If you aren't sure whether a violation has occurred, you may discuss your concerns with any of the people listed on the how to raise a concern page.
5. Will I be penalized if I witness a violation of the Code of Conduct or policies and I report it even though my supervisor tells me not to report it?No. Any such directions by a supervisor are not authorized by the University. The University encourages you to report any violations of which you are aware. The University of Sharjah does not tolerate retaliation and takes disciplinary action if retaliation occurs.
6. Am I supposed to know the Code of Conduct, bylaws and policies of the University of Sharjah?
Yes. Each member of University of Sharjah community is required to know the University Code of Conduct, bylaws and policies related to their role and responsibilities, which are available on the University website or can be obtained from the Compliance and Internal Audit Office or Office of Human Resources.
7. Who is subject to the Code of Conduct?
Academic and administrative staff of the University. Alumni volunteers and members of the Board of Trustees and its committees are also included. Students are not subject to this Code of Conduct unless they are employed by the University or represent it. There are other policies existing in the University related to student conduct. The offices of the deans are the best source of information of such policies.
8. If I believe a violation has occurred but I don't report it, what could happen to me?
It depends on the riskiness of the violation, the certainty of the violation and your position of responsibility. A final decision would depend on the individual facts and circumstances of each case. The violations must be brought to the attention of those in a position to address them; otherwise, the University will not be well served.
9. Who will investigate reported potential violations?In accordance with directions from the Chancellor, the University Compliance and Internal Audit Office, General Counsel, other offices or committee appointed by the Chancellor will investigate potential violations to the extent they have the expertise to do so. Other specific expertise may be engaged as appropriate and necessary.
10. Will I be informed of the resolution of potential violations that I report?
All reports and results of investigations will remain confidential and will be disclosed only if necessary. In some instances, you may receive feedback following the completion of the investigation. During the investigation, the University will protect the privacy of the persons who report violations as well as individuals against whom accusations are made.
11. Who determines the appropriate disciplinary action for violations?
The Chancellor will make the decision in accordance with the bylaws of the University.
12. How much will I have to be involved in the investigations if I report a potential violation?
Your involvement depends on the complexity of the issue reported. The more information you are able to provide, the easier the matter will be to investigate. Once you report a violation, your future involvement will likely be limited to follow-up questions from the University Compliance and Internal Audit Office or other committee appointed by the Chancellor.
13. If I am involved in purchasing decisions, may I accept gifts or favors from vendors even if I am confident that these gifts or favors have no influence on my purchasing decisions or recommendations?In general, even if you are confident that your decisions or recommendations are not influenced by gifts or favors from vendors, the appearance of influence is important. Financial gifts or favors are not allowed.
14. What are the various areas of University activity governed by federal laws and regulations?
The Commission for Academic Accreditation is the Federal Government's Quality Assurance Agency charged with promoting educational excellence across diverse institutions of higher learning in the UAE. Through licensure of post-secondary educational institutions, and accreditation of individual programs, the Commission strives to assure high quality education, consistent with international standards.
15. What is the authority of the Compliance and Internal Audit Office?In accordance with Internal Audit Charter approved by the Board of Trustees, the Compliance and Internal Audit Office, exercising strict accountability for the confidentiality and safeguarding of records and information, is authorized full, free and unrestricted access to any and all of the University records, physical property, information systems and personnel information pertinent to carrying out any engagement. All employees are requested to assist the Internal Audit Office in fulfilling its role and responsibilities.
16. How are audits selected?
There are several risks factors affecting the activities, departments, functions or units that are selected for auditing. The Compliance and Internal Audit Office assesses the risk or exposure to loss that any given activity, department, function or unit might represent to the University. This assessment is used to prioritize the selected area or unit. Audit requests may also come from departments, functions and units or external sources, such as our external auditors. All departments directly or indirectly managed by the University of Sharjah may be subject to review by the Compliance and Internal Audit office.
17. How long does an audit typically take?
The length of time it takes to complete an audit varies significantly. Generally, the time required for the audit will vary depending on the size, complexity and strength of the University's internal controls. The scope of audit may be expanded or reduced at any time depending on the issues.
18. How much of my time will the audit require?
In general, there will be an individual within your department who will act as our main contact for the duration of the audit. The main contact person will be responsible for meeting with us to help determine the scope of the audit, gather documentation, discuss our audit issues and recommendations, and review the final audit report.
Meeting with key personnel during planning and fieldwork is required to complete our understanding of business processes. The length of meetings can vary depending on the issue being audited.
19. What does the basic audit process involve?
Planning: This is a process of gathering information from interviews with departments, units, functions or members and from the financial analysis we perform. This information helps to create a clear understanding about the function or unit under audit and establishes the preliminary scope for the engagement.
Fieldwork: We spend time onsite in the department and since each department is unique in its size, purpose, staffing, procedures and issues, audit fieldwork can also be unique. We perform tests of various departments, units or function transactions. The number of transactions tested varies from audit to audit depending on the audit scope. The transactions to be tested will be provided in advance so that department or function personnel have sufficient time to gather the information before our arrival.
Reporting: This is a phase of documenting the communication. During this part of the audit, we assemble any audit issues and/or suggestions in draft form for discussion with departments, units or functions. As a result, the final report will include the issues that are resolved and the remaining issues.
Follow-up: After the report is issued, it is anticipated that all audit reports will be followed up with the department, unit or function within a reasonable timeframe.
20. What are the benefits of the audit process to my department, unit or function?
The general goal is to provide the department, unit or function under audit with an assessment of their control environment and compliance with appropriate policies, procedures, bylaws and regulations.
A secondary goal is to make recommendations for the sake of improving the efficiency and/or effectiveness of certain procedures performed.
21. May I request an audit?
You may contact the Compliance and Internal Audit Office if you want to request an audit through your immediate supervisor or director.
22. What information will I need to provide the auditors?
You may submit a preliminary request for information. The request might include general information about the department, unit or function being audited. When we begin the fieldwork process, you will need to provide us with various details supporting the transaction being tested.
23. How can I prepare for an audit?
The Compliance and Internal Audit Office will communicate in advance to the department, unit or function and senior management about an upcoming audit. After being notified, the department may prepare for an audit by undertaking the following (not a comprehensive list):
Prepare the department's organizational chart, list of key personnel and their job descriptions, process flowcharts, operating policies and procedures
Make available the copies of recent external audit reports (for the Finance Department only) completed in your department within the audit period.
Inform the staff about the upcoming audit and encourage full cooperation with the audit team.
Assign areas of the audit scope to key personnel so they may effectively plan and prepare to respond to audit requests (if possible)
Contact the audit team, in a timely manner, if you have questions or comments.
24. Will the audit interfere with the normal workflow of my department?
There will be some
disruption in your department daily schedule. However, we try to minimize the
disruption and schedule our meetings with the department, unit or function
personnel at a mutually convenient time.
25. How confidential will the information I provide to you and my audit report be?
All information received and managed by the Compliance and Internal Audit Office is kept at the appropriate level of confidentiality.
26. Who gets copies of audit reports?
In general, an audit report is issued to those in a position to see that corrective actions are taken and those with a need to know, generally, the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Financial and Administration Affairs, and directors on a need to know basis, as well members of the Board of Trustees Compliance and Audit Committee. The distribution of reports to others who request a copy must be approved by the Compliance and Internal Audit Office director.
27. Who audits the Office of Internal Audit Activities?
The external bodies (i.e. Internal Audit Association and external auditors) as required, and as appropriate, by the University.
28. What is the difference between internal auditors and external auditors?
Internal auditors work in the Compliance and Internal Audit office and they are a member of the University community.
External auditors are not member of the University. They include the University appointed audit firm and external auditors from government / regulatory agencies.
However, there may be situations where the Compliance and Internal Audit Office will contract an external audit provider or professional to perform an audit. In this case, the external auditor will function in an internal audit capacity and his/her work will be supervised by an internal auditor.