Monday, 19 January 2009

Honesty Survey

Recently I obtained a (replacement) copy from the principal author of the publication titled “Fraud Resistance: A Practical Guide” written by Martin Samociuk and Nigel Iyer ISBN 0 7337 5028 1. Funding for this 126 page booklet was made available by SIRCA (Securities Industry Research Centre of Asia-Pacific) Limited as part of their Strategic Value Management Series. Business Excellence Australia was the publisher.

I’d had a copy of this booklet previously whilst working as Program Director, Fraud Solutions for one of Australia’s major banks. I’d lent it to a colleague but never saw it again.

Yesterday I took time out to re-read the publication as a break from thinking about our farm. It really is a superb read for anyone working for organisations who might be thinking about whether or not fraud is occurring where they work and what approach they can take to managing various major aspects. On page 48 there is a provocative little ‘self test’ that I thought was worth sharing – in the context of just how ‘honest’ each of us really is. For those who have a minute or two to burn, please ask yourself what our answer would be to the questions that follow:

Honesty Survey:
Have you ever (in the context of businesses you’ve worked in):
* Taken items of office stationery or equipment to use at home?
* Exceeded the speed limit whilst driving?
* Under-declared or omitted items from your tax return?
* Brought items through customs which you should have declared?
* Submitted slightly inflated petrol or other expenses?
* Paid cash to a plumber, builder or tradesman knowing they were not going to pay tax?
* Declared incorrect figures on timesheets; claimed hours you did not work?
* Used company facilities or services such as photocopying, mailing, fax, telephone for personal use?
* Added extra items which had not been stolen to an insurance claim?

The point of the survey is simply to say that there are various degrees of behaviours that may or may not be acceptable to different parties. My read on this is also that if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions then it’s fair to assume others you work with might do the same. Unfortunately some people don’t know where to draw the line as to what is acceptable/unacceptable behaviour at work. If employers don’t draw the line for them, it can lead to fraud occurring in the workplace.

I’ve published the above with the permission of the author. If you’d like a copy of the booklet you can order a copy from SAI Global via the following web address

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