The benefit of having a whistle-blower facility to detect fraud and other forms of corporate abuse is well documented. Most recently the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners released their 2016 Report to the Nations survey which has once again confirmed that the majority of frauds are discovered by tip.
Many organizations have implemented whistleblowing facilities and encourage people both inside and outside of the organization to use them. Many have also implemented cash rewards for information where recoveries are made.
In the United States there are monetary rewards for whistleblowers that provide information on healthcare fraud and where an over-payment is recovered. In Canada the Canada Revenue Agency provides a whistleblower hotline. Specifically, the Offshore Tax Informant Program does offer monetary rewards for significant cases where a recovery is made.
For internal whistleblowers there is a major concern about reprisals for reporting fraud and abuse. These are viewed as a real barrier for whistleblower programs and can limit their effectiveness. There is legislation such as the Public Service Disclosure Protection Act to protect federal government employees; as well as internal policies that various private sector organizations have enacted but they are not necessarily consistent across all sectors and organizations.
With all of these different approaches, where can an organization for resources? In an interview with CBC Ottawa Morning, David Yazbeck of Raven Law explained some of the concerns that whistleblowers have. He and a number of other, well respected individuals and organizations worked with the Canadian Standards Association to produce the whistleblower guidelines to encourage minimum standard within whistleblower systems across both the public and private sectors in Canada.
To listen to the interview, click the link below.
Interestingly, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also issued recommendations on building a concrete and usable whistleblower program for both the public and private sectors.
In short, there are resources available that organizations can use to develop their whistleblower programs, including designing policies, developing professional competencies and creating facilities to facilitate tips. These facilities, combined with other tools such as training and data analytics can really assist organizations in the prevention of fraud.
If you are an organization considering your fraud detection options, we encourage you to contact us to arrange a consultation to discuss your needs.