GOOD GOVERNANCE, BAD GOVERNANCE : A brief review on how to create an anti-fraud culture

In order to support good governance and to establish an anti-fraud culture in Mauritius, leaders in the Public Service organisations must show an obligation to entrench effective canons and standards for defying fraud and corruption in their organisations.
Do we really have a charismatic leader within our political spectrum? Or do we blame our leaders for the failure of their ministers and many chief executives to deliver and manage expectations? After every general election there is always someone else to blame for failure, fraud and corruption as we are all witnessing now and have witnessed in the past.
Is Roshi Bhadain in the quest to clean up corruption in Mauritius or are we all seeing a political vendetta? High profile names, and undoubtedly above all the famous lion of all time, Navin Ramgoolam, have all relentlessly been under the spotlight of fraud, corruption and money laundering since early 2015.
‘Some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, millions of mischiefs’ (Shakespeare). Who to believe or trust the old regime or the new one? For sure they all do smile during election time. Can we trust the moral, social and ethical responsibilities of our leaders in Mauritius? We have known the same politicians and political leaders for the last three or four decades and we are all aware of the fraud and corruption associated with these leaders and their allies. Has the ex-Prime Minister Dr Navin Ramgoolam respected the ministerial code of practice to the fullest or has he been misled by this close buddies?
Ministerial Code of Practice
It has perhaps become practice of each new Prime Minister to issue a new code. However the ministerial code is as such:-
Ministers must uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service, and not ask civil servants to act in a way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code and the requirements of the Constitution. Ministers have a duty to give fair consideration and due weight to informed and impartial advice from civil servants, as well as to other considerations and advice in reaching policy decisions.’
The Ministerial Code, among other things, prescribes the following standards for Ministers:
— Ministers should ensure no conflict of interest between public duties and private interests;
— Ministers should keep party and ministerial roles separate; and
— Ministers should not mislead Parliament.
Sadly or recently we have witnessed everything to the contrary. Perhaps the government is facing the challenge to find ways to keep ahead of fraudsters in the public sector when it comes to countering fraud and other high profile white-collar criminal activities, such as corruption, money laundering, and asset misappropriation. Do organisations like ICAC, FSC, CCID and the new government department namely – ‘Ministère des Services financiers et de la Bonne gouvernance’ have high calibre staff with the right skills to tackle corruption from the very bottom to the top?
Perhaps to lead and co-ordinate the fight against fraud and corruption across the public services, a Special Counter Fraud Centre should be created as a dedicated and independent body to set out the principles that define the governance and operational arrangements necessary for an effective counter fraud response to :-
* Save money by increasing departments’ ability to detect, prevent and recover losses from fraud.
* Protect reputation by providing access to a comprehensive package of tools, training and consultancy to manage and minimise risk.
* Develop valuable skills by offering new professional qualifications as well as CDP modules that explore the latest counter fraud threats and issues.
In the United Kingdom the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy – CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre has suggested 10 tips for creating an anti-fraud culture as illustrated below. Conceivably the authorities might contemplate implementing these 10 steps to counter frauds and corruption:
1. SET THE TONE AT THE TOP with a clear obligation to tackle fraud and corruption headed by the executive board. A zero tolerance to fraud must be seen as part of the ‘ethical mission statement’.
2. KNOW AND PRIORITISE YOUR FRAUD and corruption risks by setting up the right type of framework and ensuring that staffs work within its structures.
3. SCAN THE HORIZON to keep updated on the latest threats and risks, remember that what seems low risk today may turn into high risk in the future.
4. BUILD FRAUD AWARENESS to help mobilise the entire department in the fight against fraud.
5. ENSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE IN ORDER and include guidelines on what to do when suspicions of fraud arise. A visible and well-articulated whistleblowing policy is also essential for creating an anti-fraud culture.
6. CREATE A DEDICATED ANTI-FRAUD TEAM to ensure their objectivity and unfettered access to the information and resources they need.
7. TAKE ACTION by reporting the incident to the relevant authority and to be able to give evidence in court if necessary.
8. MEASURE SUCCESS and report on the effectiveness of the preventive measures that is in place.
9. PUBLICISE YOUR SUCCESS by sharing the outcome of a successful investigation or how an anti-fraud measure has worked is a great way to send a message that fraud does not pay.
10. NEVER TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE BALL as fraud and corruption are an evolving threat and as fraud risk does not stand still nor should the department’s strategy to combat it.
In summary, if Mauritius wants to become a corruption-free country, all state’s programs should include explicit strategies for fostering ethical leadership, transparency and accountability. Building a corporate culture based on a solid footing of values and a high standard of personal accountability is not just about mitigating potential risk. In so doing, we are applying the memorable phrase that Ronald Reagan coined in the 1980s, when he was dealing with the former Soviet Union. That cold war motto applies here, too: “Trust but verify.”

Commentaires

Banne dimoune bizin aret politise tou zafer... Anou travay dan l'interet La Nation..

Ki arrive nou perception Morris alors? Gouvernment pas bizin met l'ordre pou ena developpement? C bien ki ena n nouvo minitère Good Governance kine créer... O moins pa pu ena fraca kuma Ramgoolam ine fer dan le passé..

There has been cases of bribery, corruption, illegal money transfer, mismanagement, cover up & many more to mention when the previous government was managing the country..... Do people really think that this govt is supposed forget all these things???

Ministry of Good Governance is trying to tackle things at a strategic level. I believe the new govt should be given the chance to fully reveal the depth of what they are planning for. This actual government is thinking in the interest of the island and that politicians should put the country’s interest above all.

They always find an excuse to everything. Now the Minister Roshi Badhain is really emphasizing on good governance. Ine arrive l'heure pu aret protez ti copain. Zot blier episode coffre? Transfer kas ti dimoune lor compte personelle?