EthicsPoint Frequently Asked Questions
What is EthicsPoint?
EthicsPoint is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool to assist the Administration and Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to work together to address fraud, abuse, conflict of interest, and other misconduct, all while maintaining the integrity of the Association.
Why Do We Need a System Like EthicsPoint?
An effective reporting system will augment our other efforts to foster a culture of integrity and ethical decision making. In addition, an external reporting system ensures that reports are escalated to, and addressed by, those at the highest levels of the Association.
How do I file a report?
With EthicsPoint, you have the ability to file a confidential report via either the telephone or the Internet.
Can I still file a report if I don't have access to the Internet?
You can file an EthicsPoint report from any computer that can access the Internet. You can file from home. Many public locations, including the public library, have computers with access to the Internet. If you don't have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the EthicsPoint toll-free hotline (866) 493-4903, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What type of situations should I report?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to report any violation of our stated policies or other concerns you may have.
If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my UUA supervisor or to the Office of Human Resources?
When you observe some behavior that you believe violates our policies, we expect you to take appropriate action, which—depending on the circumstances—should be to bring any concerns forward to your direct manager, to your staff group director, to Human Resources, to the Executive Vice President, or to the President. We recognize, however, that there may be circumstances when it is not appropriate to report the issue in this manner. It is for such circumstances that we have partnered with EthicsPoint. You should always exhaust all appropriate internal procedures for resolving issues before reporting them via EthicsPoint.
Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breech in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals at the UUA who are charged with evaluating the report, based on type of violation and the location of the incident. Note that the Chief Governance Officer of the UUA—the Moderator—will receive notice of each report, unless the Chief Governance Officer is the subject of concern, in which case the chair of the UUA Audit Committee will be informed instead.
Security and Confidentiality
Is it OK to make an anonymous report?
Yes. Please understand, however, that in some instances it may be impossible, unethical, or inappropriate for the UUA to act upon a report without further information or without knowing the identity of the reporter. In such cases, you will be asked for clarifying information via the EthicsPoint website or call center, which you may choose to reveal.
It is my understanding that any report I send from a UUA computer generates a server log showing every website I visit, and won't this log identify me as a report originator?
EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your computer to EthicsPoint is available. In fact, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter's identity.
If you feel uncomfortable making a report from your UUA computer, you have the option of using a computer outside of our environment (such as one located at an Internet café, at a friend's house, etc.) through the EthicsPoint secure website.
Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
A report from home, a neighbor's computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter's identity.
Is the telephone toll-free hotline confidential and anonymous, too?
Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint website. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.
I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. If you wish, however, to remain anonymous, you—as a reporting party—need to ensure that the body of the report does not reveal your identity by accident. For example, "From my office, which is next to Jan Smith's..." or "In my 22 years working at the UUA...." Keep in mind, though, that there may be some instances in which it may be impossible, unethical, or inappropriate for the UUA to act upon a report without further information or without knowing the reporter's identity.
What if I want to be identified with my report?
There is a section in the report for identifying yourself if you wish.
What if my supervisor or other managers are involved in a violation? Won't they get the report and start a cover up?
The EthicsPoint system is designed so that implicated parties are not notified or granted access to reports in which they have been named.
Following up After a Report
What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the report? Or, what if the UUA has further questions for me concerning my report?
When you file a report on the EthicsPoint Web site or through the EthicsPoint Call Center, you receive a unique username and are asked to choose a password. You can return to the EthicsPoint system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original report to add more detail, to add further information that will help resolve open issues, or to answer questions posed by a UUA representative. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in the time specified to answer UUA questions. You and the UUA now have entered into an "anonymous dialogue" in which situations are not only identified, but can be resolved, no matter how complex.
Are these report follow-ups as secure as the first?
All EthicsPoint correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity.
When will I hear back from someone? How long does the process take?
In general, you should expect an initial response from a UUA representative within 5 to 6 business days. Please note that it may take much longer to investigate and resolve any issues.
Should I use EthicsPoint to report a potentially dangerous situation?
EthicsPoint is not 911 or an emergency service! Do not use this site to report events presenting an immediate threat to life or property. Reports submitted through this service may not receive an immediate response. If you require emergency assistance, please call 911 on an outside telephone line or contact your local authorities without delay.