What is BIA Ltd?
BIA (Business Integrity Africa) Ltd, registered as a security company was incorporated in Kenya in 2014 in response to a demand for Fraud Prevention Services to fight fraud, enable economic growth and increase and create employment. The company will consult widely with the business community and law enforcers to ensure that the database complies with all relevant legislation.
What is employee Fraud?
‘Staff Fraud occurs when a member of staff dishonestly makes false representation, or wrongfully fails to disclose information, or abuses a position of trust for personal gain, or causes loss to others’. (CIFAS)
Fraudulent activities perpetrated by members of staff can range from compromising customer or payroll data to straightforward theft or the submission of inflated expenses. Staff fraud can be opportunistic i.e. it can be a completely unplanned attack purely for personal financial gain. However, staff fraud can also be linked to a serious and organised criminal network or terrorist financing.
Why is a fraud/conduct Database necessary?
Fraud has been on the rise in the recent past and most businesses now realize that they can no longer play down this threat especially from within. Fraud leads not only to financial loss but also the reputation of the business. While most people are honest and trustworthy, a few bad apples are causing the biggest threat to a business survival. Moreover, it is well known that dishonest people move from place to place, employer to employer and continue their fraudulent activities wherever they go. The fraud prevention database will allow businesses and individuals to share data with each other on incidences of fraud within organizations thus minimizing the risk of engaging a fraudster.
Is the database effectively a “blacklist”?
Not at all, the database simply informs the member on the conduct of the individual they are dealing with. As in the case of employment, responsible employers are urged to consider each application on a case by case basis and make a judgment call on the suitability of a job seeker for the job in question. Besides, many people with serious criminal records successfully obtain employment so long as they can persuade the potential employer that they no longer pose a threat.
What are examples of fraudulent/criminal activities?
These are indeed many and may vary from industry to industry. The rule of thumb is any activity that you report to the police can be filed in the database. However, our research found the below to be most common.
• Theft/Stealing; of money, of customer data, of equipment
• Colluding with organized gangs to rob or steal data causing millions of shillings in losses.
• Job applicants who provide forged documents and certificates to support their application
• Distributors/dealers/agents that have acted alone or colluded with employees to defraud an organization.
• Employees off loading some goods before they get them to their designation eg fuel, sugar maize
• Employees carrying unauthorized passengers in company vehicles to make some money.
• An individual misrepresenting themselves for financial gain
However, the above list is by no means exhaustive and therefore BIA Ltd will continue to work with member organizations to provide industry specific fraud list that will be added to the one above.
What is the information required to file fraudsters on the Database?
•Suspicions and hearsay must NOT be filed in the database.
•The member organization/Individual must make a formal complaint to the police.
•The offense must be identifiable.
•The information has to be accurate.
•The member organization/Individual must have sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
Will employees have to give their consent to be filed on the database? If so, will they have to sign new employment contracts?
It is not a requirement of the data protection act to obtain consent from the employee to be filed on the employee fraud database. Therefore, employers do not have to prepare new contracts for the employees to sign. However, the employers will be required to notify the employees that the database exists and their details will be stored in it in the event of them committing a fraud/crime.
What if an employee resigns before investigations are complete and later confirmed as a fraudster, will the filing still be made in the database?
Yes provided that sufficient proof exists an employer may file the individual even if they are not in their employ at the time of filing.
What will prevent a employer/manager/individual from maliciously filing a case so that someone is sacked or to for the sake of tarnishing their reputation?
Requirements for filing have to be adhered to as mentioned above. Further, participating members will adhere to a code of ethics failure to which they will be blacklisted from any dealings with the database. Since cases have to be first filed with the police before updating the database, the individual will be held to account considering that giving false information to the police is an offense.
Can an employee find out what is contained about them in the database?
The employee has a right to request a copy of any information held about them in the database.
Can employees challenge the information contained in the file?
Yes, the employee is at liberty to do so by filing a complaint with BIA Ltd
Are members able to file temporary staff on the Employee Fraud Database?
Yes the participating members can file temporary and even suppliers on the fraud database provided the filing is in line with the laid out procedure. Further, members are urged to give adequate notices to any job advertisements they put up or any tenders or quotations requests.
What are the Benefits of our Services?
- Businesses will expand
- Employment will be created
- Inter county trading will be promoted
- E-commerce will be promoted
- Promote Tourism
The cost of running businesses will reduce because currently, a lot of funds are spent in safeguarding the organizations against fraud especially from within. Further, many studies have shown that fraud is a major deterrent to business and so curbing the same will see businesses expand.
The major rationale for this project will be to invite investors from within especially the middle class with good jobs to open businesses in the counties with the assurance that they can employ people to manage them who will be responsible and with integrity. This way, jobs for the youth will be many since the middle class has access to loans that they can borrow to start the businesses. Further, the existing businesses in the counties will grow as fraud is a major hindrance to expansion.
More businesses will be opened especially by the middle class who will create employment. Investors will be invited from within country to open businesses in the counties with the assurance that they can employ people to manage them who will be responsible and with integrity. This way, jobs for the youth will be many since the middle class especially has access to loans that they can borrow to start the businesses. Further, the existing businesses in the counties will grow as fraud is a major hindrance to expansion.
Other benefits on this are;
• Employers will be able to verify the identity of applicants, confirm their previous performance and ascertain their integrity by reference to their previous conduct and thereby will curb the unchallenged move of dishonest staff from one employer to another.
• Dishonest applicants for jobs may withdraw their application once advised of the registration and checking.
• The employers will create a safe environment in which to work.
• The database will also deter existing employees against misconduct
County residents can trade with each other directly without going through middlemen or being present physically. Farm produce from different counties will be bought without travelling to the counties.
Most online transactions are hampered by fraudulent activities by the users. The database will see trading spurred online as the participants will be identified and therefore more accountability.
Due to enhanced security and accountability, tourism will grow. Homestay can also be encouraged which will see international tourists visit with the residents and enhance their visiting experience.