Rampant fraud and corruption in the public and private sectors have plagued South Africa for many years. However, a glimmer of hope appears to have followed the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, after President Cyril Ramaphosa reassured South Africans that corruption, fraud and collusion in the public and private sector will be fought with purpose and intensity.
While the country waits to see significant change in addition to the recent cabinet reshuffle, the president’s overall commitment to purge corruption is commendable, says Rudi Kruger, General Manager at LexisNexis Data Services.
“President Ramaphosa’s assertion during SONA that we should not tolerate the plunder of public resources or corporate crime is reassuring and should motivate those in power within the private and public sectors to strategically tackle corruption, particularly procurement fraud,” he said.
Kruger added that a strategic response to widespread procurement fraud with organisations is to ensure accountability with the right checks in place and trustworthy tools to root out problems. The following tips were recommended to form part of an effective strategy.
- Establish, communicate and maintain a fraud policy.
- Verify that suppliers, customers and employees are genuine and honest by conducting thorough due diligence and vetting, and more importantly put measures in place to monitor suspicious activities.
- Be aware not only of the mandatory actions and penalties for non-compliance, but also be familiar with the details of the related legislation and how to practically implement and monitor compliance.
- Protect whistleblowers against recrimination or defamation.
Fighting corruption and restoring public faith in the system is a priority of LexisNexis Data Services, which continually seeks to research and develop solutions aimed at eradicating corruption. One such solution is Lexis® ProcureCheck.
“Lexis® ProcureCheck helps supply chain officers with the tools to conduct due diligence and vetting on vendors and employees, creating a transparent networking environment where business can be conducted with integrity,” said Kruger.
“Lexis® ProcureCheck assists in combating corruption by identifying potential connections and ownership of property, identifying possible fraudulent activities within vendors and employees with the help of the South Africa Fraud Prevention Services, highlighting business interests of employees within organisations and recognising conflicts of interest within organisations and their potential supply chain partners.”