Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Fighting fraud and corruption
Staff are the first line of defence when it comes to fighting fraud and corruption in an organisation. That was a clear message at the Fraud Awareness Seminar hosted by the City Integrity and Investigations Unit at the Durban Exhibition Centre last week. The event sought to leverage new partnerships with business, government and prosecuting authorities.

The seminar was hosted in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and aimed to create a meaningful platform for engagement on issues of fraud and corruption, and encourage all​ role players to elevate good governance. Mbuso Ngcobo, Head of the City Integrity and Investigations Unit said that the City will not allow fraud and corruption to fester in the organisation and will work tirelessly with all role players to ensure a successful and clean administration. He added that the Mayor’s support has motivated his
staff, and set the tone for the organisation to work towards closing the gaps where fraudsters will find opportunities to defraud the system.

Chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee, Cllr Thabani Luthuli said that his committee and the City Integrity and Investigations Unit will play a pivotal role in ensuring that officials are held accountable. “I urge the private sector to support the cause by not colluding with officials and issue a stern warning that members of staff involved in any wrong doing, will be disciplined. Any business proven to be corrupt will be blacklisted.”

Dave May, President of the ACFE, said that fraud is not a cold crime, but people suffer from the actions of fraudsters. “In the public sector, the impact of fraud and corruption is felt by citizens and business as it increases the cost of revenue and impacts on service delivery. It decreases the confidence in the public service and impacts on the reputation of the organisation,” he added.
“The image of the whole organisation gets tarnished by the wrong doing of a few individuals.” 

He said that according to a survey done by the AFCE, the annual loss globally due to fraud is in the region of 3.7trillion dollars, with 85% of companies suffering from asset misappropriation, although financial statement fraud has the highest value. The study revealed that financial organisations and government are the hardest hit by fraud and corruption, and the reasons for this range from lack of control to poor tone at the top, to lack of management review and lack of competent people.

Speaker at the seminar, Philip Zwart, said cybercrime was on the increase and warned employees to be wary of phishing and spoof emails that steal passwords and information. He said it was important for staff to be aware of the Information Technology policies for this reason. He also urged staff not to be afraid to report suspicious behaviour and challenge unfamiliar people in office blocks or report them to security.

With the cooperation of all fraud and corruption can be stopped. To report fraud and corruption in the Municipality, contact the City Integrity and Investigations Unit on 0800 202020 toll free or email ombuds@durban.gov.za. They are based on 10th floor, Rennies house. All reports are treated as confidential.

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