PROVIDENCE — In its commitment to the practice of stewardship and accountability, the Diocese of Providence continues to maintain a hotline for the reporting of suspected financial misconduct across its parishes, schools and agencies.
The Financial Accountability Hotline, initiated in 2013, is administered by NAVEX Global, an independent third-party company. The company’s EthicsPoint program assists employers and employees by allowing them to work together to address fraud, abuse and other misconduct in the workplace, while maintaining an accountable, positive work environment.
The hotline allows for the anonymous reporting of concerns via a website: www.dioceseofprovidence.ethicspoint.com, or by phone to one of NAVEX Global’s trained specialists at 1-888-581-2145.
It is designed to only accept and respond to allegations of financial misconduct or conflicts of interest involving employees, board members of diocesan entities and parishes as well as all volunteers involved with any and all diocesan financial activity.
“The Diocese of Providence has a firm commitment to the practice of stewardship and accountability,” said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin.
“As a Church, we understand that we must strive to practice the same high ethical standards that we encourage people to practice in their day-to-day lives. The practices, policies and structures of the local church are set up to reinforce our goal of being accountable and ethical in all of our dealings.”
Bishop Tobin said the hotline supplements the already strong measures of accountability in place, including financial and consultative councils at the parish and diocesan level.
The bishop oversees the Diocesan Finance Council, including the Diocesan Audit Committee, and the College of Consultors and Council of Priests, which review any issues that may arise.
The diocese publishes annually an independent Certified Financial Audit Report of Diocesan Operations and a financial summary for its central administration. It also requires each diocesan parish to prepare and review with parish corporation leadership its own annual financial report. This completed report is to be sent to the diocesan Fiscal Office and, also, is provided in summary form to parishioners.
In addition, the diocese has an active internal audit office to monitor its compliance with acceptable accounting practices for our parish operations.
According to the Office for Planning and Financial Services, the hotline provides diocesan employees and other interested parties with a means to report confidentially any discovery of financial misconduct or conflict of interest. Officials say that if the person making the report requests anonymity in making the report, they will respect this request.
Whether made through the website or via the dedicated toll-free telephone number, all reports submitted through the EthicsPoint hotline will be reviewed by internal staff.