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Are you aware of a notifiable event which has occurred in your area, but you haven’t got around to reporting it? The opportunity still exists to provide your notifiable event report to the Legal & Risk Branch – but it needs to be done before Monday 14 December 2020.

A notifiable event may be a consequence, fact, event, situation, omission, occurrence, activity or failure to do something that could result in a claim against the University. Examples include: damage to property or equipment, accidents or injuries occurring during University activities (including clinical trials), complaints, or a threat of legal action.

Reporting notifiable events ensures the University can use the insurance it purchases for its people, assets and activities. Anyone can report a notifiable event: staff, students, titleholders, volunteers, visitors, contractors and staff of controlled entities.

Please review matters within your schools, faculties, branches and business units and report any and all notifiable events or potential claims to the Legal & Risk Branch. If you previously notified an event, and have an update, let us know about that too.

Any new events that arise after 14 December 2020 need to be notified through helpdesklegal@adelaide.edu.au as soon as they occur, or as soon as they become known to you, and before 31 December 2020 to attract the benefit of the insurance cover.

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Adaptable technologies have given us the flexibility to easily move between working on campus and working from home. This pattern is likely to be the new model of work into the future.

To maintain workflows while working remotely, the University provides secure access to online systems and work tools. Self-help guides can assist us to access a variety of platforms and databases so we can continue to easily communicate and collaborate.

While the new normal may change where we work, it won’t change what we must do to meet our workplace obligations. One obligation we often emphasise is recordkeeping. Regardless of the platform used to communicate or share files, each of us must keep accurate and complete records of University activities and business transactions.

There are some simple integrations between the University’s official recordkeeping system and everyday applications like Microsoft Office Suite (including Microsoft Teams) which can make the task of recordkeeping more manageable.

Records Services have developed a range of “how to” guides which explain how to integrate recordkeeping routines with the new platforms we have come to rely on to get the job done. This includes a helpful guide on accessing HPE Content Manager remotely.

The duty to document is particularly important in times of disruption, as we discussed in our previous blog article, Responding to COVID-19 – Maintain your distance AND your records.

The University’s recordkeeping obligations are set by the State Records Act 1997 and the University Records Policy.

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Academic integrity is a core part of university life and reflects fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. All members of the university community must uphold these values in teaching, learning and research. This includes refraining from using academic cheating services which have the effect of undermining honesty and fairness in academic outcomes.

New legislation, which commenced on 4 September 2020, reinforces the idea that cheating is unethical by making commercial cheating services illegal.

The intention of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Amendment (Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services) Act 2020 is to protect the values and integrity of the Australian higher education system by:

  • Creating new offences for anyone providing or advertising academic cheating services
  • Extending TEQSA’s authority to intervene, investigate and shut-down academic cheating services (operating either within Australia or offshore).

New penalties apply to providers of cheating services

An “academic cheating service means providing work to, or undertaking work for, students, in circumstances where the work:

  1. Is, or forms a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to personally undertake; or
  2. Could reasonably be regarded as being, or forming a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to personally undertake.

It is now a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise an academic cheating service on a commercial basis. Penalties up to 2 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $100k may apply to providers of academic cheating services who offer to write a substantial part of an assignment or sit an exam on a fee for service basis.

Civil financial penalties may apply where an academic cheating service is supplied without remuneration or benefit. This could include co-ordinated arrangements between students. Potential fines up to $100k are intended to deter unpaid cheating assistance.

The new law does not condone but does not penalise informal assistance provided by family members or friends. Nor does it seek to directly penalise students who might be tempted to use a cheating service. In regulating this type of activity, however, TEQSA may provide universities with information about identified academic cheating services and their users. Students found to be cheating will be subject to the procedures set out in the University’s Academic Integrity policy.

TEQSA’s expanded role

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector. TEQSA’s role and regulatory powers have been broadened to include:

  • Monitoring and investigating alleged offenders
  • Referring any breaches of the law to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Raising awareness of cheating websites by publishing information
  • Seeking an injunction from the Federal Court to force internet service providers to block websites advertising cheating services.

Further information

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Barr Smith Library

If you are reading this, you probably have an obligation under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 to report certain types of activities or conduct to the Office for Public Integrity. This is because the University is a Public Authority and that means anyone that contributes to its operations is a Public Officer*.

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Credit card

Corporate credit cards are a convenient and efficient way for University personnel to manage work‑related expenses, including for travel, entertainment or those other small value purchases that are needed to get the job done. An efficient process intended for essential purchases While it’s an easy and operationally effective way to manage business expenses, it’s not […]

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Woman wearing mask working on laptop

During recent months, usual work patterns have been disrupted as we’ve adapted our work habits and come to terms with the reality of social distancing. It has also been a period when significant changes have been made to the way the University delivers its teaching and research output. In finding ways to stay apart while […]

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Pause recording button

Zoom provides an easy and appealing platform to connect with others across different locations. Using Zoom, we can still gather virtually to hold live team meetings, facilitate group decision-making, stage webinars or simply catch-up for an informal chat. During an extended period of working from home, we’ve all come to grips with using this video […]

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Question mark on blackboard

New FAQs explain If you are a staff member, a titleholder, a volunteer or a contractor to the University, you have legal obligations under the SA Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act. Importantly, this means that you must report any behaviour or conduct you reasonably suspect involves corruption or serious or systemic misconduct or maladministration in […]

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A lot has changed in just a few weeks as COVID-19 has spread globally. Those responsible for managing contracts in these changing circumstances may feel uncertain about what this means for arrangements they are currently committed to, or considering entering into. There is potential that circumstances may arise due to COVID-19 which impact the ability […]

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Barr Smith Library, The University of Adelaide

South Australian Public Officers are invited to attend a general awareness session to better understand the mandatory reporting obligations that apply to the University and to Public Officers under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act. The event will be hosted by Deputy Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Michael Riches. Event details ICAC Awareness for Public Officers Thursday […]

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