Chapter 7.00: Business Services
I. The School Board of Okeechobee County will not tolerate fraud or the concealment of fraud.
II. This policy applies to any fraud, suspected or observed, involving District employees, outside support organizations, vendors, contractors, volunteers, outside agencies doing business with the School Board, and any other persons or parties in a position to commit fraud on the School Board.
III. Fraud includes, but is not limited to, knowingly misrepresenting the truth or concealment of a material fact in order to benefit personally or to induce another to act to his/her detriment. Actions constituting fraud include but are not limited to:
A. Falsifying or unauthorized altering of District documents such as timesheets, student records, safety reports, maintenance records, or financial documents;
B. Knowingly misrepresenting a fact;
C. Accepting or offering a bribe, gifts, or other favors under circumstances that indicate that the gift or favor was intended to influence an employee’s decision-making;
D. Disclosing to other persons the purchasing/bidding activities engaged in, or contemplated by the District in order to give any entity, person, or business an unfair advantage in the bid process;
E. Causing the District to pay excessive prices or fees where justification is not documented;
F. Unauthorized destruction, theft, tampering, or removal of records, furniture, fixtures, or equipment;
G. Using District equipment or work time for any outside private business activity.
IV. Any perceived fraud that is detected or suspected by any staff member or other person shall be reported immediately to the Superintendent or designee for guidance as to whether pursuit of an investigation is warranted. If the perceived fraudulent activity involves a School Board member or the Superintendent, the report should be made to the School Board Attorney. The obligation to report fraud includes instances where an employee knew or should have known that an incident of fraud occurred. Reports of known or suspected fraud may be made anonymously by telephone, email, inter-office mail, or U.S. Postal Service. Any investigation required shall be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position/title, or relationship. Investigations shall be conducted in a confidential manner.
V. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, termination of employment, termination of contract, or legal action.
VI. The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to implement this policy. Procedures shall include but not be limited to:
A. Employee notification and education
B. Self-assessment of risk of fraud
C. Reporting suspected or detected fraud
D. Investigation of fraud
E. Consequences and disciplinary action
VII. False or Incorrect Report
Individuals who, in good faith, report suspected fraudulent activity will not be subject to retaliation as a result of reporting the actual or suspected misconduct. The Superintendent, a Board member or any District official shall not sign and/or transmit any report regarding employee misconduct to a state official that he/she knows to be false or incorrect. An individual who knowingly makes a false or incorrect report shall be subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by Florida Statute.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 1001.32, 1001.41, 1001.42, F.S.
LAWS IMPLEMENTED: 1001.42, 1001.43, F.S.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULES:
HISTORY: Adopted: 06/09/2009
Revision Date(s): 04/12/2016