R89.4m SASSA Fraud kept hush hush

A staggering R89.4 million has been stolen through social grant system between 16 and 28 October. Postbank employees or Postbank contractors are suspected of being the perpetrators. This is the second time the SASSA payment system has been compromised since Postbank took over the social grant payment system in 2018. Read more on https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-03-30-the-great-sassa-swindle-postbank-theft-of-r89-4m-in-social-grants-kept-under-wraps/

Workplace: This is where you’re most likely to face moral dilemmas and temptations to act unethically.

Employees are not immune from unethical behaviour simply because they are at work. Because we spend so much time at work, it’s even more critical to teach employees how to deal with moral difficulties on the job. It might be anything from breaking the organization’s internet usage policies to lying about a deadline or wasting corporate time. These may appear to be minor transgressions but if ignored, they can escalate to far more serious wrongdoing. Employees and the organization should share responsibilities for ethical behaviour. Read here for research-based recommendations for creating an ethical work culture. https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/building-ethical-culture-at-work

Can misconduct outside work land you in trouble?

With recent looting primarily in Gauteng and KZN, many businesses faced unexpected challenges. The country witnessed many people taking part in these acts. There are videos of these heinous acts available for everyone to view. Can employers hold employees accountable for misconduct outside of the workplace? https://businesstech.co.za/news/technology/508302/caught-on-camera-can-employees-in-south-africa-be-disciplined-for-criminal-activities/

South Africa’s new harassment guide employers need to know

According to the Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace aggression, psychological abuse, GBV, racial abuse, and physical abuse are some examples of harassment that employers must be aware of to protect their employees. The new Code went into effect 18 March 2022 and replaces the Amended Code of Good Practice for the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace. Employers are urged to familiarise themselves with the new guide to avoid getting in trouble. Read here to get key points for employers: https://www.bowmanslaw.com/insights/employment/south-africa-harassment-in-the-workplace-employers-to-take-note-of-their-obligations-under-the-new-code-of-good-practice/

Steps that follow after an employee is caught committing fraud in South Africa

The negative effects of fraud on any organization, no matter its size, cannot be emphasized enough. Companies primarily protect themselves against external fraud, but neglect to consider the internal threat. If suitable systems are not in place employers may lose critical information, evidence, and valuable time when faced with an incident. Time spent gathering evidence and information can lead to a suspect being tipped or the procedure being handled incorrectly. For more info on proper steps to take after an employee is suspected of committing fraud in the workplace, read here https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/537752/an-employee-is-caught-committing-fraud-in-south-africa-heres-what-happens-next/

Tips to support the whistleblower process from an HR viewpoint

When dealing with whistleblower incidents, organizations need to be practical and focused so that employees feel supported from the time the report is made until the end of the case. Failure to do so can adversely affect whistleblowers. This includes being treated as an outcast and facing emotional well-being issues. For tips read the full story at https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/legal-advice-on-how-hr-should-handle-whistleblowing-issues/

Whistleblowers aid in uncovering corruption at Lottery offices in NC

Thanks to the effort of 2 whistleblowers the SIU and the Hawks were tipped on information of how non-profit organisations were identified, then assisted to fill in application forms by NCL employees in exchange for 30% kickback of the grant amount.
A total of 7 employees of National Lotteries Commission were named in the search and seizure. NCL offices and two workers’ private houses were raided, resulting in the seizure of computers and some documentation.. Read the full story at https://www.groundup.org.za/article/hawks-swoop-northern-cape-lottery-offices-after-whistleblowers-tip-offs/

The risks of wearing too many hats in the workplace when practicing leadership

Past failures at Boeing, WeWork and Facebook show why companies should avoid having the same person double as CEO and chairman. Multiple interviews with investors, CEOs and board chairmen show that this model often leads to a lack of awareness and risk management skills and the exclusion of talented people. Read the full story at https://hbr.org/2020/03/why-the-ceo-shouldnt-also-be-the-board-chair

How to spot fraud in your company

Internal fraud can devastate any business, regardless of size. The company’s reputation, stakeholder relationships, and employee morale are all negatively impacted. There are no safe businesses. Fortunately, with the right systems in place, you can reduce the risk of internal fraud. Read the full story at https://www.mazars.co.za/Home/About-us/News-events-and-publications/Our-publications/Mazars-Messenger/Messenger-June-2019/Detect-Fraud-in-Your-Business

Ostracised for being a whistle-blower

Whistle-blowers are called by so many names, many of which are unpleasant. Coming forward and reporting takes a great deal of bravery, but such people are mostly met with resistance and people become wary of them. Why are whistle-blowers labeled as snitches? Though they play an integral part in unearthing fraud, they are treated as outcasts and often left to bear the brunt of coming forward. If given the opportunity to come forward again, would they? Read the full story at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellypope/2018/12/26/the-truth-about-whistle-blowers/#f90ca6b6a9b3

Even death threats won’t stop Athol Williams whistleblowing about corruption

In 2021 Athol Williams spoke out at South Africa’s State Capture Commission about corruption, implicating consulting firm Bain in destroying the SA Revenue Service (SARS). A former senior partner, he urged that Bain be held accountable. To find out more, go to https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-28-athol-williams-i-will-continue-whistle-blowing-and-making-the-corrupt-uncomfortable/.

Williams has been forced to flee the country and has gone into hiding because he fears for his life. If his identity had been kept anonymous when he whistleblew, he wouldn’t be in this position. We need to protect our whistleblowers better. And this is exactly what FraudCracker does.

Companies that don’t act on governance, social and environmental (ESG) issues could lose investors

You need to take governance seriously, or it could cost you your investors. ESG (environmental, social and governance) concerns have become a dealbreaker for investors worldwide, according to PwC’s 2021 Global Investor ESG Survey. Companies that don’t act on ESG issues could lose investors. In fact, 49% would be willing to cut ties with companies not taking enough action on ESG issues. And 79% said the way a company manages ESG risks was a key factor in their investment decision-making. Get the full story at https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/companies-that-fail-to-act-on-environmental-social-and-governance-esg-issues-risk-losing-investors-pwc-survey-89571202-4f29-4ebd-b6b4-faeeeee4cd2b

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Corruption: Can we stop the gravy train? (ACFE SA Conference talk)

Thanks to ACFE SA for the incredible opportunity today to present on ‘Corruption: can we stop the gravy train?’ at the ACFE SA national conference. At the start of my talk, 58% of the 600+ attendees felt we could not beat corruption, while only 35% of you felt we could. Hopefully, after my talk, you’re now more hopeful about the impact we can make if we work together, and use our votes and our voices to slash corruption in South Africa.

Some very controversial ideas and great questions. Thanks to everyone who attended. And a big thank you to ACFE SA for all their hard work to make the conference a success. Not easy in times of Covid but you guys did a great job! #ACFE #ACFESA #weCANbeatcorruption https://www.fraudcracker.com

Threat.technology article: FraudCracker and EthicsDefender make it safe to report wrongdoing and fraud

Ben and his team run a great website called Threat.technology. You can stay ahead of the latest cyber threats with their articles on the latest advancements in information security.

We’ve also been featured in an article on their site, which you can read here.

Do your employees feel safe speaking up about wrongdoing?

Wrongdoing is rife in workplaces today. A massive 61% of U.S. workers say they’ve witnessed or experienced workplace harassment or discrimination based on race, gender, age, and sexuality. Yet reporting rates remain low. Why? Firstly, because employees are afraid of being victimised for speaking out. And secondly, they don’t think anything will be done about it, so why bother? If you want to boost reporting rates at your company – making your workplace a safer, more inclusive and happier place to work – here are 6 important steps you can take:

  1. Put in place safe, anonymous reporting channels like FraudCracker that protect whistleblowers, and help drive ethical behaviour and trust;
  2. Senior leaders need to show commitment to accountability by walking the talk and modelling the right behaviours. Share the metrics you use to hold leaders and the company accountable;
  3. Punish perpetrators proven to behave unethically, via disciplinary action, termination, prosecution, etc., and tell your employees when this happens. This sends a strong message that misconduct will not be tolerated;
  4. Publicly commit to do better for victims of wrongdoing. If an incident has been mishandled in the past, focus on re-building lost trust. Reach out to workers who were affected, apologise for the harm done, and offer recourse. Make things right;
  5. Invest in resources such as a counsellor or employee assistance program, to support victims of harassment and discrimination, especially those who come forward; and
  6. Set up an ombuds office that talks openly to employees about their fears and concerns, and educates them about the reporting options available to them.

Find out more at https://hbr.org/2020/10/do-your-employees-feel-safe-reporting-abuse-and-discrimination

THANK YOU TO ALL THE WHISTLEBLOWERS OUT THERE

Tomorrow 23-June is World Whistleblower Day. Why do we need a day dedicated to whistleblowers? It’s our way of saying a big thank you to the people with the courage to speak out against corruption, fraud and wrongdoing. Let’s celebrate them and protect them, and make it easier and safer for them to blow the whistle! They make the world a safer place for us and our children.

Find out more at https://www.transparency.org/en/news/world-whistleblowers-day-2021-speaking-up-against-corruption-crucial-just-world-alacs-can-help#

Guptas’ state capture cost South Africa almost R50bn

Following the money from government entities to the Guptas’ coffers, nearly R50 billion can be traced through invoices and bank statements. This is money that could have been spent on healthcare, education, infrastructure and service delivery. But the real cost to South Africa is probably higher, warned investigator Paul Holden at the Zondo Commission recently. Get the full story at https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-05-24-the-totalish-cost-of-the-guptas-state-capture-r49157323233-68/

Why don’t we speak up when we see wrongdoing?

Cutting out junk food, getting 8 hours’ sleep a night, exercising daily – everyone knows we should be doing these things, but most of us simply don’t. In behavioural science lingo, it’s called the intention-action gap – when we plan to do something, but we seldom do it. Likewise, ask anyone if they’d help when they saw misconduct, and almost everybody says yes. The big questions are: Why don’t we? And how do we overcome this urge to do nothing? Find out more in these intriguing articles:

  1. https://www.compli.com/blog/workplace-harassment-how-the-bystander-effect-creates-open-secrets/
  2. https://fcpablog.com/2021/03/08/why-dont-people-intervene-when-they-see-unethical-conduct/

SA cabinet adopts anti-corruption strategy

Corruption has been rife in SA for decades, and the government has set up structures to deal with it head-on. Cabinet has approved a national anti-corruption strategy to create an independent statutory structure reporting directly to parliament. The strategy has taken a year to come together, in consultation with a wide range of players. It has 6 pillars, including promoting and encouraging active citizenry, whistle-blowing, integrity and transparency; advancing the professionalisation of employees, improving governance in institutions, and strengthening resourcing and co-ordination of performance and accountability. The strategy also proposes an interim National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council for greater monitoring, accountability and transparency. But, as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, it’s execution, and not ideas or words, that matter. Hopefully this strategy will deliver on its promises. Find out more at https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2020-11-19-cabinet-adopts-national-anti-corruption-strategy/

Picture courtesy of Art Crumbs

Speaking out when it matters

Speaking up at work can be very difficult, even if you know it’s the right thing to do. You see something unethical. Notice someone being excluded. Hear a colleague using offensive language. How many times have you wanted to say something, but your inner voice says don’t? However, by NOT speaking up, you’re sending a message that this bad behaviour is OK. And it is NOT. You’re also not doing your job as an employee, co-worker or leader if you turn a blind eye.

So what do you do? Research shows we’re more likely to follow through on difficult tasks if we acknowledge the challenge we’re facing. So your first move should be to take a breath and remind yourself that speaking up will be hard. And be prepared for the person to push back when you confront them. Frame your comment as feedback to show you aren’t out to get anyone and you aren’t assuming they meant to hurt. If a co-worker makes an offensive joke, for example, say, “You may not have meant to offend, but here’s how I experienced it.” Think about different types of situations where you may need to speak up and how you’ll respond. Having a plan will ensure you’re ready to confront bad behaviour when you see it. To find out more, go to https://hbr.org/2019/03/how-to-speak-up-when-it-matters