This week, the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre will join governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, the media and individuals around the world to help raise awareness on how fraud and corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law. Corruption and fraud are not limited to developing countries and in the UK they are often used to support organised crime, terrorism and other threats to security.
As recently highlighted by the CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies), "Money laundering and terrorist financing deprive economies of capital and governments of revenue, distort fair competition in business transactions, betray the trust of stakeholders and, as the recent events across Europe demonstrate, can also lead to tragic human losses."*
Rachael Tiffen, Head of the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre, said: "Bribery and corruption are hot topics for discussion in the UK, and we’re pleased to lend a voice of support to the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day. One of the benefits of this national awareness day is that it encourages open debate and dialogue on the threats of bribery and corruption, enabling individuals, businesses and the public sector alike to express their views on how they can be better supported to manage corruption risks, what defences do they need to have in place, and how to build a robust counter-fraud culture.
"One of the key questions we ask is, do you have a system in place to spot the signs of corruption? This may sound like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised by the number of private and public organisations who say no."
As well as greater transparency in accounting, the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre also recommends that organisations should adopt a robust system of checks and balances, as a first step towards building a strong anti-corruption defence. Every public service organisation, under the UK Anti-Corruption Plan, needs to ensure that they have the right knowledge, skills, systems and policies in place.
As part of CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre’s inclusion in the UK Government Anti-Corruption Plan**, the Centre offers a consultancy service to public sector organisations providing an anti-corruption health-check service. The health check service involves expert advice from leading consultants and specialist investigators who guide organisations through a comprehensive checklist to evaluate anti-corruption readiness. For more information and to arrange a health check contact CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre on 0207 543 5789 or email E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the UN International Anti-Corruption Day visit its website.
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*Source: - the CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies) news release on European discussion on the role of finance professionals in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
** The first UK Anti-Corruption Plan was published by government in December 2014. It sets out the UK’s current anti-corruption activities, the actions that government will take to tackle corruption, and the priorities for raising international standards and leading the global fight against corruption.
CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre offers experience, insight, advice and practical services to help tackle fraud and corruption across the public services. Established in July 2014, it is the UK’s centre of excellence for counter fraud and aims to help public service organisations save money by increasing their ability to prevent, detect and recover losses from fraud.
The Centre blends tools, training and practical advice with independent consultancy to ensure that the public sector is more than just ‘fraud savvy’. Educating public sector organisations and then equipping them to deal with fraud and corruption is a primary objective for the Centre.