Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Air Botswana launches tip-off anonymous service

In addressing the challenge of fraud, corruption and misconduct, Air Botswana developed an anti-corruption, whistle blowing policy which provides staff and stakeholders with various avenues to report any form of wrong doing.

The national airline Managing Director Tozivazvipi Ben Dahwa recently said that traditionally tip-offs were done by approaching the airline’s sections of internal audit, security and supervisors to raise concerns.

┬á“In order to manage the risk of victimisation, Air Botswana introduced a tip-off anonymous facility in order to strengthen the system of integrity and fight against wrong doings,” said Dahwa.

He stated that the service is an independently managed fraud hotline service which allows stakeholders to report unethical behaviour and wrong doings anonymously. He added that the Tip-Off facility is administered via a variety of mediums, including cell phone, landline, email and website to report any suspected wrong doing.

He said there is need for tip-off anonymous adding that Air Botswana as an organisation has rules, policies, regulations and adopted industry standards that provide guidance on how the operations of the airline are conducted. Dahwa further said that  it is also known that in spite of all these protocols, people especially staff are susceptible to influence and may deviate from all these and conduct business in an unethical, fraudulent and inappropriate manner.

He is of the view that benefits of tip-off facility are that it gives stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, and clients a platform to confidentially and confidently report acts of corruption and misconduct.

“This allows those who want to raise concerns anonymously the opportunity to do so,” said Dahwa.

He pointed out that as an organisation the concerns or cases raised help to highlight risk areas and weak controls where action is required adding that tip off helps them introduce or strengthen controls and manage risks within an acceptable level and enable the organisation to achieve its objectives. He also believes that it is a very strong and tangible governance initiative which clearly demonstrates board, management, and staff commitment to fight against misconduct and corruption.

“It promotes a culture of honesty and integrity,” the Air Botswana MD stated.

Deloitte Senior Manager Brian Watts has observed that the airline industry continues to experience an “attack rate” of 1 percent to 1.5 percent of revenue, although some geographies, including the Middle East and Latin America, are subject to rates as high as 3 to 4 percent of revenue. He said with the continued and sustained growth in African aviation is expected to see airlines in Africa experience much higher attack rates.

“Fraud and corrupt activity cost the global aviation industry between USD 1 and USD 1.4 billion per year,” said Watts.

He also believes that by providing the tip-offs anonymous service, Air Botswana has recognised that internationally tip-offs are the number one means for identify fraud and corruption in organisation. He said Airlines are typically exposed to significant external fraud risk. It is essential that any whistle blowing service allows external stakeholders to report fraud help identify this fraud.

“Air Botswana employees based in Johannesburg will also be able to use these facilities using the communications infrastructure of Tip-offs Anonymous,” he stated.

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