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Transparency International finds 1 in 4 people paid a bribe in the past year! Could it be one of your employees?

by , 10 July 2013
The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer by NGO Transparency International has found that corruption is a reality, with more than one out of four respondents admitting to having paid a bribe during the last year. And that means corruption could be taking place in your business RIGHT NOW. Use this fraud prevention model to help reduce it...

According to the report by Transparency International, people surveyed regard corruption in their country as more than just paying bribes.

In fact, 'almost two out of three people believe that personal contacts and relationships help to get things done in the public sector in their country'

Other key findings by the NGO are that:

#1: Among the eight services evaluated, the police and the judiciary are seen as the two most bribery prone. An estimated 31% of people who came into contact with the police report having paid a bribe. For those interacting with the judiciary, the share is 24%.

#2: The majority of people around the world believe that their government is ineffective at fighting corruption and corruption in their country is getting worse.

#3: Around the world, political parties, the driving force of democracies, are perceived to be the most corrupt institution.

Here's why you must implement measures to reduce corruption in your business

Although this survey paints a very gloomy picture about the extent of corruption and the fact that most people believe that when they aren't in a position to afford a bribe, they might be prevented from buying a home, starting a business or accessing basic services, there IS a silver lining.

The study reports that people are willing to change the current state of corruption.

In fact '9 in 10 surveyed say they would act against corruption and would be willing to speak up and report an incident of corruption.'

While this is encouraging and proves that your employees can be a useful in helping you curb corruption, you have to act now to reduce fraud and corruption in your business –especially if you allow your employees to accept gifts from suppliers. This could open room for kickbacks.

Luckily, you can stop this in its tracts by using this fraud prevention model.

Follow these basic procedures to reduce fraud and corruption in your business:

#1: Fraud response plan

Have a fraud response plan. This must detail the reporting lines and the basic steps to follow once you discover the fraud or corrupt act.

#2: Introduce checks and balances

These checks and balances could include ensuring employees keep proper records, prohibiting employees from earning outside commissions or facilitation fees for carrying out their jobs and  not letting the same person requisition, write and sign business cheques.

#3: Code of ethics

'Clarify your ethical rules for doing business. Make sure your employees practise what it preaches. Your code must incorporate a zero tolerance policy to fraud and corruption,' advises the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

#4: Fraud awareness training

Train employees on how fraud and corruption takes place, the signs of fraudulent activity, what to look out for and how to react to it, and their ethical duty to protect the business.

#5: Gift policy

Ensure your suppliers and employees are clear about the boundaries for gifts or benefits they can provide or accept. One of the best approaches to gifts is a transparent gift register that's accessible to all employees.

#6: Training on internal policies

Train and inform employees about the content of your organisation's internal policies on fraud and corruption. Make them sign acceptance of these policies.

#7: Fraud and ethics hotline

Have an independent hotline in place and encourage whistle-blowing (give employees the opportunity to report suspicious behaviour anonymously). Honest employees must feel free to report irregular and unethical behaviour without fear of recrimination or victimisation. You must protect whistle-blowers from reprisals and occupational detriments

With corruption levels shown to be alarmingly high, putting a fraud prevention model in place in your workplace is a matter of urgency. After all, the future of your business is on the line.

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