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Reporting Suspected Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Stony Brook University is committed to the responsible stewardship of our funds and other resources and encourages any University employee or other individual who is aware of or suspects acts of fraud, waste, abuse or other irregular activities to report such acts. These activities include improper transactions, such as suspected thefts, losses, misuse or inappropriate action involving funds, equipment, time, facilities, vehicles, supplies or other assets. The University does not tolerate fraudulent or other dishonest behavior and will take appropriate action upon receiving such reports.

When to report fraud, waste or abuse:

University employees with a reasonable basis for believing fraud, waste or abuse has occurred are responsible for reporting such incidents. Students and other interested individuals are strongly encouraged to report known or suspected acts of fraud, waste or abuse. Please familiarize yourself with the definitions below before filing a report.

What we need to know:

• Your name, e-mail address and phone number (Unless you choose to remain anonymous)
• A description of the alleged wrongdoing (what happened and how)
• The individuals involved in the alleged wrongdoing and a description of their involvement
• The identities of any witnesses to the alleged wrongdoing
• The dates the alleged wrongdoing occurred and whether it is ongoing
• The potential financial loss

In all cases, please include as much detail as possible regarding your specific concerns along with any relevant information or documentation you are able to provide. This will assist us in the review of the matter.

Confidentiality and Discretion

When you contact us with a report of known or suspected wrongful activity, regardless of the method you choose to use, although you are not required to identify yourself, we strongly encourage you to do so in the event additional questions arise during the course of our evaluation and/or investigation.

If you choose to identify yourself, your identity will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law. You should also know that retaliation against anyone who has made a report in good faith under this process is strictly prohibited. Intentional use of this process to make false allegations may subject the maker to disciplinary action.

Due to confidentiality concerns, it may not be possible to inform users of the process or outcome of any investigation or other action taken.

If you are a supervisor, department head or university official and you receive a report of known or suspected fraud, waste or abuse from any party, you should contact the Office of Management Analysis & Audit (OMAA) immediately. Do not confront, question, notify or terminate the suspected employee or accept the resignation of an employee who is suspected of, or admits to, fraudulent conduct.

Handling of Reports

Upon receipt of a report, OMAA will take appropriate steps to determine the type of allegation and gather additional information needed to evaluate whether a formal inquiry is warranted. If a formal inquiry is warranted, OMAA will work with the Office of University Counsel and/or other persons, University departments or University-related entities as necessary to fully investigate the situation. [eg OMAA makes the threshold determination then works with those individuals / groups needed to fully explore the situation]. 

Activities that should not be reported using this mechanism:

This reporting mechanism is intended for faculty, staff, students, and others to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse or irregular activities. Dishonest acts or misconduct outside the scope of this hotline include:

• academic dishonesty (e.g. plagiarism, cheating, falsification of research results); 
• hospital or research compliance issues;
• privacy concerns;
• discrimination or sexual harassment;
• conduct resulting in safety or environmental hazards.

These types of issues should be brought to the attention of the appropriate University offices in accordance with applicable University policies.


Fraud: Obtaining money or some other personal benefit by deliberate deception to the detriment of another party or organization. Fraud may include, but is not limited to, the following:

• Theft, misappropriation or unauthorized use of funds, supplies, property or other resources;
• Forgery or alteration of documents (whether financial, operational or academic);
• Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files;
• Falsification of reports to management or external agencies;
• Authorization or receipt of compensation for hours not worked;
• Pursuit or receipt of a benefit or advantage in violation of SUNY Policy 6001: Conflict of Interest, Public Officers Law and/or Executive Order 7.

Waste: The intentional or unintentional, thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use, or squandering of University resources to the detriment or potential detriment of the University. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs as a result of inefficient or ineffective practices, systems or controls.

Abuse: Employing one’s position or any University resource in a manner contrary to applicable laws policies or generally accepted practices. This includes intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, misapplication or misuse of assets, information, systems, relationships or other resources. 

How to report fraud, waste or abuse

Individuals with concerns regarding known or suspected acts of fraud, waste, or abuse may report their concerns through e-mail, regular mail or fax:


Regular Mail: 

Audit & Management Advisory Services 
291 Administration Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-1308
Fax: 631-632-2981

Related Links:

SUNY Policy 6001: Conflict of Interest:

NYS Public Officers Law: Code of Ethics: