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 All members of the university are responsible for supporting GW’s mission by holding themselves and the community to the highest standards of ethical conduct and complying with laws, regulations, and university policies. Staff throughout the university have operational compliance responsibilities that are specific to their area. As governed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Chapter 8 and Department of Justice Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, the Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Risk (OECR) has oversight and monitoring responsibilities of the operational compliance units to ensure compliance program effectiveness and risk mitigation in consideration of legal and regulatory requirements and compliance best practices. OECR also provides other institutional risk-based assurance services through oversight of university policies, the non-compliance reporting hotline, the university’s ethics program, internal audit, and enterprise risk management. A dotted line exists between OECR and the Board of Trustee’s Committee on Audit and Compliance in support of fulfilling their governance oversight responsibilities.


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The university strives to maintain an ethical culture, the foundation of which is rooted in the university's Code of Ethical Conduct. Through communications and training, we promote the use of the Code of Ethical Conduct in guiding us in our decision-making, key university policies, and our obligation to report unethical misconduct or non-compliant behavior.

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We promote and support compliance with laws, regulations, and university policies and provide oversight and monitoring of operational compliance units assisting in compliance program effectiveness and risk mitigation.

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Members of the university community are expected to report concerns of ethical misconduct and/or noncompliance with laws, regulations, and university policies. Ideally, such reports should be made to the appropriate supervisor, management, or the appropriate university official (if applicable). Alternatively, you can report a concern via EthicsPoint managed by a third-party provider, NAVEX Global, which works in conjunction with OECR. Reports submitted can be anonymous if preferred. EthicsPoint or other specific reporting avenues can be accessed on our Reporting Page.

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We implement a policy management program where we partner with policy owners to maintain university policies that uphold GW’s values and mission, set forth university commitments, and meet regulatory obligations.


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Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

The ERM program identifies the top risk areas across the institution and develops risk assessment frameworks, mitigation actions, and management plans for each area. This program not only serves to identify and mitigate top risks across the institution but also informs strategic planning, budget planning, and business operations by fostering opportunistic, informed, and appropriately mitigated risk-taking.

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Conflicts of Interest and Commitment (COI/C)

The COI/C program which aims to protect the university and the employee by ensuring that outside professional activities, interests, and relationships do not interfere with exercising university responsibilities or commitment to GW.

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Internal Audit (IA)

The IA serves as an assurance and consultative function to help the university proactively anticipate, manage, and mitigate risk by assessing the control environment and operational processes. An annual internal audit plan is developed by management and affirmed by the Committee on Audit and Compliance of the Board of Trustees. 





GW has a culture of integrity and ethical behavior in the daily life of our community through respect, responsibility, accountability, stewardship, teamwork, and service.