Fraud Policy

Approval: Board of Trustees

Responsibility: Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

Date: Approved May 13, 2022


Anti-Fraud Controls - A system of internal controls that reasonably deters, prevents, and detects fraud, for example, segregation of duties, system access controls.

Reporter - Anyone who reports a suspected or known fraud as defined under this Policy.

Employee - An Employee is an individual who enters into an employment contract or accepts the offer of an appointment with the University and its wholly owned subsidiaries on a full-time, part-time, or casual basis, for a specified or indeterminate period, in return for wages or a salary.

Fraud - A willful or deliberate act, omission, misrepresentation, or concealment of facts for the personal advantage of anyone, including but not limited to:  
i.    Theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, destruction, removal, or concealment of University Assets, including property under the university’s care and/or control (including furniture, fixtures, equipment, data and, intellectual property);
ii.    Forgery, falsification, misrepresentation, and alteration or destruction of accounts, documents, or records (paper and electronic);
iii.    Authorizing or receiving payment for goods or services not received or performed;
iv.    Authorizing or receiving payment for time not worked;
v.    Altering or deliberately reporting incorrect financial or personal information
vi.    Unauthorized use of University Assets
vii.    Claiming for, or authorizing of, reimbursement of expenses not incurred for the benefit of the University;
viii.    Engaging in bribery, kick-backs or seeking unauthorized rebates;
ix.    Identity theft;
x.    Holding oneself out as having an authority not possessed; and,
xi.    Aiding in or obfuscating the fraud of another.

Member(s) of the University Community - For the purposes of this policy, includes, without limitation, Employees, students, volunteers, visiting professors, contractors, visitors, student groups, and other individuals who live, work, or study at, acquire goods or services from, or supply goods or services for, the university.   

Reprisal - the act of penalizing, intimidating, or coercing an individual regarding or because of the making of a report or acting in good faith to carry out or assist with any step provided for in this policy or the Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures including, without limitation:

  • Dismissing or threatening to dismiss those individuals
  • Disciplining or suspending, or threatening to discipline or suspend, those individuals
  • Imposing any penalty upon those individuals
  • Intimidating or coercing those individuals, or permitting or tolerating any intimidation or coercion of those individuals
  • Preventing an employee from providing information to a federal or provincial authority about an offence under any federal or provincial act or regulation, or subsequently retaliating against an employee for having done so (Section 425.1 of the Criminal Code).

Engaging in an act of Reprisal constitutes a breach of this policy. The imposition of discipline or other sanctions for the making of a report or carrying out or assisting with any step provided for in this policy or the Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures in bad faith is not an act of Reprisal.

University Assets - Assets, funds, property, or resources that are owned by the university or are under its control.

Purpose/Reason for Policy

Fraud is inconsistent with Queen's University’s culture of honesty, transparency, accountability, and maintaining high ethical standards in all its activities. It has the potential to cause harm to university finances and reputation. It is the responsibility of each Member of the University Community to safeguard and protect the university from the loss of University Assets. All Members of the University Community are encouraged to report instances of suspected or known Fraud. 

This Policy and related procedures provide guidance to Members of the University Community on how to report suspected or known Fraud, and to establish a fair, impartial and competent investigation process to deal with those reports. 

Scope of this Policy

This Policy applies to all instances of suspected or known Fraud involving  Members of the University Community that involve University Assets. Incidents of Fraud regarding non-University Assets are not covered by this policy.

The procedures set out in this policy are in addition to, and do not replace or modify, the responsibility of administrators and managers under existing university policies.  This policy and related procedures do not override or diminish the rights provided to Employees under collective agreements.  Where there is a conflict between this policy or its procedures and a collective agreement, the terms of the collective agreement shall govern.

Policy Statement

Queen’s University is committed to the highest standard of honesty, transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct. The university will not tolerate any misuse or misappropriation of University Assets. The university shall investigate objectively any report of suspected or known Fraud in accordance with the Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures. 

Investigations will be conducted without regard to any person’s length of service, position, or relationship with the university. 

Members of the University Community who commit an act of Fraud will be subject to disciplinary action  as appropriate and may include involvement of law enforcement or regulatory agencies. If an alleged Fraud appears to constitute an offence under the Criminal Code, the university shall notify the appropriate authorities.


Administrators at all levels of management are responsible for creating an environment where Fraud is not tolerated and maintaining a system of Anti-Fraud Controls.

Employees are strongly encouraged, and senior administrators who have signed the Senior Administrator’s Code of Conduct are required, to report suspected or known Frauds involving University Assets in accordance with the related Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures and to cooperate with any investigation carried out under this policy. Employees must not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews related to any suspected or known Fraud involving University Assets.

The Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) or delegate is responsible for:

  • providing oversight for the administration of the Fraud Policy and the related Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures;
  • the recovery of lost funds and assets, where possible, resulting from a Fraud; and,
  • developing fraud training and awareness activities to promote understanding and compliance with the Fraud Policy and Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures.

Board of Trustees through the Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for ensuring management has the appropriate systems of Anti-Fraud Controls in place to deter, prevent, and detect Fraud; and to set the appropriate ‘tone at the top’ for the university. “Tone at the top” refers to the ethical atmosphere that is created in the workplace by the university's leadership.

The Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee will assume responsibility for the direct oversight of any investigation should a Vice-Principal, the Principal, or the Director of Internal Audit be the subject(s) of an investigation under this policy. 

Internal Audit has the primary responsibility for leading investigations into reports of Fraud and is responsible for reporting all reports of fraud received and the results of any investigations to the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Senior Leadership Team. Where a collective agreement requires that a different individual lead an investigation in a case of suspected or known fraud, the investigation will be structured so as to comply with those requirements and the person leading an investigation in that case will work closely with Internal Audit.

Internal Audit is also responsible for monitoring the Anti-Fraud Controls put in place by management and providing timely, cost effective recommendations for improvements to these controls.

Students and other third parties, including volunteers and vendors, are strongly encouraged to report suspected and known incidents of Fraud impacting the university.

Protection from Reprisals

No person shall commit an act of Reprisal. Where the facts upon which an allegation of Reprisal, if true, would constitute a violation of this or any other University policy or procedure, the allegation will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action. The disciplinary authority of the university extends, however, only to Members of the University Community.

Any individual who believes that they have experienced a Reprisal pursuant to this policy and related procedures should document the details and report the incident to the Director of Internal Audit under the Reprisals Complaint Procedure (Appendix II) - of the Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures.


Within the limitations of the law and of this policy and the Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures, and subject to requirements related to the conduct of a proper investigation, including attendance to the requirements of procedural fairness, reports of any suspected or known Fraud and consequent related actions shall be kept confidential, and will not be disclosed or, discussed with anyone other than those persons associated with the university who have a legitimate need-to-know of such results in order to perform their duties and responsibilities, and authorized representatives of law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies where appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to, the protection of the identity of the Reporter and/or the subject of a report of a suspected or known Fraud under this policy where possible. 

To the extent possible, and within the limitations of the law and this policy and related procedures, all participants in a Fraud investigation shall hold the matter as strictly confidential throughout the investigation and until the completion of the process outlined under Fraud Reporting and Response Procedures. 

Responsible Officer: Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

Contact Officer: Director, Internal Audit

Date for Next Review: Month/Day/Year

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines   

Policies Superseded by This Policy    N/A