Fighting Fraud And Corruption
By Arnold Fajardo, CPA
The fight against fraud and corruption be it in government or private organizations, begins with putting the right leaders, and the right people in place. Leaders and people with established integrity, and value for honesty and simplicity. Leaders and people who can remain solid and brave, to distance themselves from or ignore temptations to commit or be an unwilling participants to fraud and corruption.
For managers and organization’s leaders, the higher one goes up the ladder, the higher the temptations are, that often what may have been reputably honest individuals early on, could start falling into the pit of fraud and corruption. As the cycle goes on, many who may have started clean, ends up dirty once they get up the higher ladders imbued with higher authority and influence. A better way to put this undesirable cycle to not go unchecked is by building an effective and efficient internal control system, and an infrastructure that puts a check on why exceptions or deviations from norms occur.
An organization must have a mechanism in place to enable it to know the overall status of their internal controls at any given point in time. Without it, they can be resting on their laurels merely thinking that they have a good working internal controls while in reality, fraud and corruption loom everywhere in the organization.
Last but not least, an often missed aspect in fighting fraud and corruption is the importance of a strong reward and penalty system based on benchmarks and criteria that are clear and well understood by everyone. Rewards that effectively motivate people to do good and act according to established standards, and penalties that effectively discourage people to try or be an unwilling cooperators of fraud and corruption..
Fraud and corruption in organizations, to a large extent happen because of cooperators and conspirators, many of whom although unwilling are forced by circumstances to do so. Remove them in the equation, and you’ll find ardent thieves having difficulty perpetrating their nefarious businesses.
We may not totally succeed in removing hardened thieves and corrupt leaders, but we may be able to curb fraud and corruption if we can reduce cooperators and conspirators, especially those who are unwilling or are merely forced by circumstances to protect their jobs.
About the author:
Arnold Fajardo, CPA is a passionate business writer, mentor, consultant, and a staunch advocate of good governance in both private and government organizations. He is a member of the Good Governance Advocates and Practitioners of the Philippines (GGAPP), a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) for more than 30 years, and a volunteer to the Jesse Robredo Center for Good Governance. Arnold is the co-founder of Blontech Solutions, a training, consulting and outsourcing firm specializing in helping SME’s and NGO’s in developing future leaders, and in coaching various levels of human resources to achieve better productivity, manpower stability and organizational success.