Risk Management

In April 2014, Westfield State University requested the services of the Office of the Comptroller to conduct a transition review of University financial policies and internal controls. The transition review report recommended a dedicated Internal Controls Officer with a direct reporting relationship with the Board of Trustees.  This relationship provides transparent communication to the governing body of Westfield State via the Chair of the Audit Committee and therefore a check on the president and other senior administrators.  

Westfield State is committed to providing an ethical control environment, accountable to students, faculty and staff through financial integrity and sound internal controls. As a public higher educational institution, the entire University community must be exceptional stewards of state and federal dollars. Please take the time to review information on this webpage in regard to risk management, internal controls and the internal audit function. There are also links to additional resources such as the University Whistleblower Policy and the Comptroller’s Fraud Prevention Brochure titled, “It’s everyone’s job to combat fraud, waste and abuse of public funds.”

Risk Assessment

What is risk?  
Risk is anything that will prevent Westfield State University from achieving its mission, goals and objectives. Risk can be strategic, financial, operational, compliance related and reputational.

Why does my division / department care?
Each of us plays a critical role in creating an environment that is accountable to the public, especially the students of Westfield State University. Identifying risks and establishing internal controls, provides for greater efficiencies and institutes safeguards while at the same time, not being burdensome in day-to-day responsibilities. The risk assessment and internal control process provides reasonable assurance that your team can achieve their goals and objectives.

Internal Control

To access the University Internal Control Plan, login to myWestfield, select Documents, Administration & Finance, Internal Control Plan, Westfield State University Internal Control Plan June 2015.pdf
Comptroller of the Commonwealth Internal Control Guidance

Internal Audit

What is internal audit? 
Internal audit is a function that is designed to add value to university operations.  This function reviews internal policies and procedures for proper internal controls and to ensure compliance with university policies. The Internal Audit function has neither direct responsibility for, nor authority over any of the activities or tasks it reviews. Accordingly, Internal Audit does not develop or write policies or procedures that they may later be called upon to evaluate. 

Fraud Awareness & Prevention

What do you do if you are aware or become aware of fraud, waste, and abuse? 

Familiarize yourself with Westfield State University’s Whistleblower Policy found within the University Policies linked on the main webpage.

Report the suspected fraud, waste, or abuse to your supervisor or Patricia Bonica, the University Reporting Officer (URO). Ms. Bonica can be reached via phone at 413-572-8670 or in her office at the Horace Mann Center. There is also an anonymous Word document established for anonymous submissions.

You may also contact one of the Commonwealth’s Whistleblower Hotlines.


Links to WSU & Commonwealth Policies: