Businesses must be prepared to confront and deal with the many ill effects of fraud on their operations, bottom line, and reputation.
While fraud is now topical, what is missing is the recognition of all those occurrences called by other names whether- formal or colloquial-which are applicable and just as damaging.
In this regard, we must call out what is besetting a business by its name and definition as we prepare to develop -if not already in place – a cogent policy with the appropriate title and substance which can be reasonably enforceable.
I am in no way alluding to the title of charges which may apply under legal and regulatory arrangements. What I am aiming for are names to which employees can relate to in a company’s policy which governs employment practices. Policies which are impressionable from onboarding, signed on to, steeped in memory even when tempted, are a reminder of the consequences when breached. Workplace policies do not replace law enforcement but must be a constant reminder that property belonging to the workplace must be protected, particularly where breaches can cause reputational damage and business loss.
It must be noted that affected companies and organizations whose issues are in the public sphere, whether print or electronic, may describe the occurrence with the same effect but by a different name. Hence the title “What’s in a name”. Whether it is the deprivation of money, goods, property, a legal right or worse the loss of life, for the purpose of developing policies the likely occurrence must have a name.
So, what are we going to name it? Fraud, theft, corrupt practices, embezzlement, grift, swindling, or simply runnings.
These are not in the same class as robbery, hold-up, and burglary. Dishonesty is in a class by itself and cannot be tamed by policies such as “Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control”. A policy must be structured to set out all the names and definitions which bear relevance to the type of business or organization.
Call it by a name, as we know it now, but AI and ChatGPT may pose other issues and upend those which now exist. New technologies-enabled fraud requires their own policies and guardrails.
Stay alert for Part V
M. Audrey Stewart- Hinchcliffe CD, J.P is the Chair of Manpower & Maintenance Limited Group