Mmegi Online :: Call for whistleblowers to be rewarded
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 11:44 am.
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Call for whistleblowers to be rewarded

Senior Manager at Deloitte`s Tip offs Anonymous Service Brian Watts says Botswana should consider rewarding whistleblowers, in an effort to combat corruption and fraud.
By Pauline Dikuelo Thu 06 Nov 2014, 11:00 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Call for whistleblowers to be rewarded








Watts said this during the Deloitte Tip-Offs anonymous service line decade celebrations held in Gaborone yesterday, an event that was attended by different organisations from various sectors like finance, mining, construction as well as government.

“ For the 10 years that we have been in existence it has been evident that we have experienced some growth. We think it’s high time we take it to another level and reconsider the payment of rewards to the whistle blowers,” he said.

Watts explained that this would help as only few local organisations like the financial sector already practiced it and this had contributed to the spontaneous growth of an anti-corruption culture.  Watts explained that the awards would range from bronze, silver and gold. The bronze award would cover the whistleblower that would provide information on how the corruption was done.

“The silver award would cover someone who provided information that would lead to the recovery of goods. The gold award would be a whistleblower that would provide information that would prevent future loss, recovery of goods and conviction of the offender,” he said.

Some of the seminar participants expressed worry that introducing a reward would entice malicious reports and was likely to expose the anonymous tip-offs.

However, Watts assured that the system would be effective, as different mechanisms would be put in place. He added that voice matching and reference numbers would be used to identify the right

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person who reported anonymously. He said the payment process would be run internally and they would have an agreement with the whistleblower about the payment method, in order to ensure the person’s safety.

Watts however dismissed sentiments that the reward would be perceived as a bribe.

He clarified that whistleblowers’ needs had to be taken into consideration as they provide valuable information that can save organisations, yet they risk their lives and jobs.

However Watts noted that there has been an improvement in the tips offs. He said the rate had increased in accordance to the benchmarking they conducted.

 Watts also stated that their latest research had revealed that southern Africa had registered about 68 percent of the reported cases through the phone. Seventeen percent were reported via mail and only six percent was done through the website. He however emphasised that Botswana was a unique case as they received about 90 percent of the cases through the phone. Reports also indicated that 40 percent of these cases were fraud cases, 25 percent in human resources, five percent in money laundering and about four percent in theft.

Watts didn’t omit to stress that these investigations required special skills. He therefore urged auditors to attain accreditation in international courses like the Certified Fraud Examination Audit. He also encouraged organisations to rope in forensic accountants and IT auditors to ensure that the cases are handled appropriately.

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