Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. David R. Shock


Ethical behavior on the part of public administrators has been understood to be one of the guiding principles of public service. When public administrators decide to cross the line into behavior that is not only considered to be unethical but unlawful, they have not only put their own careers and livelihood in jeopardy, they have betrayed the public’s trust. Betrayal of the public trust by state and public university employees was one of the motivating forces behind Georgia House Bill 1113 (2008). This legislation which subsequently resulted in significant changes to the University System of Georgia’s policy regarding the reporting of employee malfeasance continues to have a significant impact on the internal auditing function of this state’s public colleges and universities.

For this reason, the purpose of this research is to inform public administrators, particularly those working within the University System of Georgia, about the policies and standards which they are operating under. This case study of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Department of Internal Auditing reaction to Georgia House Bill 1113 will provide public administrators with a roadmap outlining how one group of public administrators has effectively accepted the challenge of maintaining the public’s trust by actively combating employee malfeasance on its campus. Research findings indicate that they’ve not only successfully installed a fraud risk awareness and mitigation program within their audit function, but they have become a standard by which other higher education auditing departments are measured.