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, ethics and 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.
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.
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.
Members of the university community are expected to report unethical misconduct and non-compliance with laws, regulations, and university policies. Concerns can be reported via EthicsPoint (including anonymously), managed by our office, or other various reporting avenues based on the issue subject matter. Other specific reporting avenues are also available depending on the nature of the concern.
Confidential web reporting
Confidential reporting by phone: 1-888-508-5275
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.
Conflicts of Interest and Commitment (COI/C)
We oversee the university’s 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.
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
The ERM program identifies the top risk areas across the institution, develops risk assessment frameworks, mitigation actions and management plans for each area. The ERM program not only serves in identification and mitigation of top risk across the institution, but also informs strategic planning, budget planning and business operations by fostering opportunistic, informed and appropriately mitigated risk taking.
Internal Audit (IA)
Internal Audit serves as an assurance and consultative function to help the university anticipate, manage and mitigate risk proactively 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.
New University Policy Published - April 2023
The Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Risk published a new Institutional Conflict of Interest Policy. Please review to see how the policy applies to university activities and interests.
University Policy Eliminations - February 2023
Several university policies have been recently eliminated and absorbed into departmental processes and procedures. The policies eliminated were: Adverse Weather and Emergency Events, Accounts Payable Payment Methods, Disbursement in Non-U.S. Currency, Receipt and Return of Goods, and Electronic Funds Transfer. Please contact our office if you have any questions.
Read more on the Compliance Chatter page...
GW has a culture of integrity and ethical behavior in the daily life of our community through
respect, responsibility, accountability, stewardship, teamwork, and service.