ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO INITIATES FINANCIAL MISCONDUCT HOTLINE
Anyone who suspects that there is misappropriation of finances at any institution operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago can now access a financial misconduct hotline to report potential breaches of Archdiocesan financial policies.
Administered by EthicsPoint, an independent, third-party company, the hotline provides a way for concerned persons to confidentially report actual or possible violations of financial policies. Reports can be made by calling 1-866-294-5256 or via the Internet by accessing www.ethicspoint.com as well as the Archdiocesan web at www.archchicago.org.
“The hotline is aimed at providing an additional avenue of contact,” said Thomas Brennan, Archdiocesan Director of Finance. “While we encourage most employees and others concerned about such misconduct to go through the normal channels of communication when reporting their suspicions, we realize that some would prefer these issues to be handled discreetly. Anyone, including Archdiocesan employees, can make reports without fear of being penalized, dismissed, demoted or suspended. A report can even be made anonymously although it is our experience that most people making complaints will identify themselves, if not in the first contact, at least as an inquiry proceeds and they see their concerns being heard.”
Creation of this hotline underscores the Archdiocese’s commitment to responsible stewardship. That commitment includes ensuring that all funds collected by Archdiocesan institutions are used in an appropriate and responsible manner.
“An important element of stewardship is accountability,” Brennan emphasized. “The Archdiocese of Chicago must demonstrate to all parishioners and donors that we will not tolerate any misappropriation of our resources, no matter who is at fault.”
Brennan expects that any complaints made about the financial practices of the Archdiocese are likely to fall into one of six categories. They are: embezzlement or theft; falsification of contracts records or reports; conflicts of interest; donor stewardship issues; disclosures of confidential information; and accounting and auditing matters.
“Such a hotline serves the dual purpose of helping to us to detect anyone who has violated our trust while also deterring others from considering such violations,” Brennan emphasized. “Fraud complaints also help us assess risk and identify areas requiring changes in policy, procedures and personnel.”
EthicsPoint is a leading provider of hotlines to corporations, school districts, universities and not-for-profit corporations. Its staff is trained in receiving calls, and they also have the capacity to receive complaints in many different languages. Although EthicsPoint staff receives the complaints, the company does not play any role in the review or investigation of any accusation.
“We will protect the rights and reputations of anyone accused while a review or investigation is taking place,” Brennan emphasized.
For more information on the financial misconduct hotline, go to the official web site of the Archdiocese of Chicago at www.archchicago.org