1. Question: What concerns are covered by the Policy?
Answer: You may report any suspected fraud, violations of NIC’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, or violations of any other NIC Policy through the Reporting Hotline. If the matter relates to benefits, human resources matters or other general workplace inquiries, you should consider contacting your supervisor or human resources representative as a first step.
2. Question: I overheard a male employee repeatedly making inappropriate comments to a female employee. Should I report this through the hotline?
Answer: If you feel uncomfortable reporting this to your supervisor (particularly if the supervisor was involved), your supervisor’s supervisor or to NIC’s Human Resources department, or you otherwise fear that the reporting would endanger your position, then you should report this conduct immediately through the hotline.
3. Question: I know that my supervisor is submitting expense reports that include items that were actually purchased for my supervisor’s spouse. I know that the items were for personal use and were not authorized, but the total of the items is minimal. What should I do?
Answer: Use of NIC funds for the benefit of non-employees, to the extent not authorized by NIC policy or other action of NIC, is a violation of NIC policy and is theft, regardless of the amount involved. You should report this behavior immediately, and given that the individual implication is your supervisor, going to HR, your supervisor’s supervisor or using NIC hotline are all acceptable methods to communicate your concern.
4. Question: I am an employee in the financial department, and I have knowledge of a financial matter that was not included in NIC’s financial reports. In my opinion, leaving this information out of the financial reports means that the financial reports do not fairly and accurately reflect NIC’s financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. I previously spoke with my supervisor about this issue, but my supervisor did not agree with my assessment. Since I already brought this up to my supervisor, have I fulfilled my obligations as an employee, or should I report this matter? In addition, if I need to report this information, do I have to go to my supervisor’s supervisor, or can I use NIC hotline?
Answer: It is possible that your supervisor took your concern to his or her supervisor, the Chief Financial Officer and/or the NIC Disclosure Committee, and that they reached a conclusion that was different than yours. Regardless, if you have concerns that the result is inaccurate financial reporting, you should report the matter and at least receive confirmation that the decision to not include the information has been made by the individual(s) ultimately charged with making that decision. You may use NIC hotline to report the matter.
5. Question: I work with an independent contractor hired by NIC on a sensitive, non-public matter. I overheard the independent contractor making statements over the telephone regarding a sensitive, non-public matter to someone who was obviously a family member or close friend (i.e., someone not involved with the matter or NIC). Since this individual is not an employee, I don’t have a reporting obligation, right?
Answer: Wrong. NIC policies often implicate non-employees, including independent contractors and other third parties. The best rule of thumb is that if an employee doing what the independent contractor/third party is doing would be a violation of NIC policy, then it is likely that the independent contractor/third party is likewise violating NIC policy. In this particular instance, the independent contractor is violating NIC’s policy regarding confidential information, as well as the NIC Inc. Trading Policies and Disclosure of Non-Public Information document. This should be reported immediately, using the procedure set forth in this policy.