The purpose of this Charter is to:
- Identify the authority, mission, scope, and responsibilities of Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU’s) Compliance and Ethics Office (hereinafter referred to as the Compliance Office);
- Ensure that the Compliance Office adheres to a code of ethics, maintains organizational independence, and has unrestricted access to FGCU records and personnel; and
- Provide for a periodic review of and changes to the Charter, as necessary.
A separate charter governs the duties and responsibilities of the Audit and Compliance Committee of the FGCU Board of Trustees.
Board of Governors (BOG) Regulation 4.003, State University System Compliance and Ethics Programs, requires each board of trustees to implement a university-wide compliance and ethics program that promotes ethical conduct and maximizes compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies. The BOG Regulation requires FGCU to designate a chief compliance officer who shall be governed by a charter approved by the board of trustees.
The mission of FGCU’s Compliance Office is to assist FGCU with promoting an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance.
The scope of work for the Compliance Office is to:
- Encourage and support ethical behavior, a culture of integrity, and a commitment to compliance into all facets of the University;
- Provide University stakeholders with a reporting mechanism to bring forward good-faith concerns of wrongdoing, without fear of retaliation;
- Respond to employee inquiries about compliance and ethics-related matters and assist employees with understanding University policies and regulations, as well as state and federal laws and rules pertaining to compliance and ethics;
- Disseminate and communicate information about compliance and ethics-related laws, rules, regulations, and policies;
- Conduct ongoing oversight of compliance with the laws, rules, regulations, and policies;
- Identify and evaluate risks critical to the University and ensure that the risks are properly managed by the appropriate University component;
- Administer and coordinate a compliance and ethics training program;
- Chair a compliance committee to collaborate with and provide proactive guidance for University employees responsible for compliance functions;
- Chair an investigations working group to triage concerns received through the University’s hotline to ensure consistent and appropriate responses to good-faith concerns; and
- Review and advise management on conflict of interest issues and critical institutional risks.
The responsibilities of the Compliance Office are to:
- Develop and direct the University’s compliance and ethics function;
- Provide leadership, oversight, and expert advice to ensure appropriate development, interpretation, and implementation of the Code of Ethics For Public Officers and Employees as codified in Florida Statutes, as well as University policies and regulations and state and federal laws and rules pertaining to compliance and ethics;
- Prepare a Program Plan of activities for approval by the President, Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and the FGCU Board of Trustees; revise the Plan as necessary;
- Develop and give compliance and ethics training to the FGCU Board of Trustees, the President and Cabinet, and employees to assist University community members with performing their jobs, understanding compliance issues, and infusing an ethical framework into the fabric of the University;
- Ensure that managers responsible for compliance functions within the University, such as equal opportunity, athletics, public safety, sponsored programs, financial aid, environmental health and safety, finance, and procurement, for example, coordinate and communicate program matters of substantial import with the Chief Compliance Officer;
- Oversee the processing of internal reviews received through the Hotline, refer concerns to an appropriate University office for review and disposition (such as General Counsel, Internal Audit, or Institutional Equity and Compliance), and track and follow up through completion of the review;
- Bring all compliance and ethics-related matters of substantial import and all credible evidence of alleged misconduct, including criminal conduct, to the attention of the President and the Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee of the FGCU Board of Trustees, as well as the Board of Governors’ Inspector General, as applicable;
- Prepare an annual report for approval by the President, Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and the FGCU Board of Trustees regarding activities, accomplishments, and the effectiveness of the compliance and ethics program, and provide a copy of the approved annual report to the Board of Governors;
Ensure that an initial external review of the compliance and ethics program to determine its effectiveness is conducted no later than November 2021 and that
FGCU’s Chief Compliance Officer shall abide by the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees codified in the Florida Statutes at Title X, Chapter 112, Part III.
The Chief Compliance Officer shall also follow the Code of Ethics of any relevant professional organizations to which he/she may belong.
To ensure the impartial and unbiased judgment essential to the proper conduct of the compliance and ethics function, the Chief Compliance Officer is organizationally independent of the employees and managers who seek the advice and assistance of the Compliance Office. The Chief Compliance Officer reports functionally to the Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee of the FGCU Board of Trustees and administratively to the President.
The Chief Compliance Officer shall have full, free, and unrestricted access to all University information, documents, records, and personnel necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Compliance Office.
The Chief Compliance Officer shall review the Charter at least once every three years for consistency with applicable Board of Governors and FGCU regulations and policies, professional standards, and best practices; and make revisions to the Charter, as necessary.