The former Director of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo, has expressed worries over failure by some employees in corporate organizations to report unethical behavior within their organizations.
Giving a keynote address during the Ethics Hotline re-launch by the Debswana (OLDM) Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines last week, he said that it is sad to note that there are rising cases of fraud, theft and other criminal activities in some corporate organizations in the country, adding that the majority of these crimes go undetected while others go unreported, resulting in financial losses and eventually destroying the organizations.
“There is higher need by employees in corporate organizations to be whistle blowers to try and uproot these unethical practices,” he said.
Debswana held an Ethics Hotline re-launch event as a way of sensitizing its workforce, stakeholders and customers to report unethical behaviour within the company.
The Ethics Hotline initiative is a confidential reporting channel that provides employees, stakeholders and customers at Debswana an opportunity to report possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct within the organization.
The initiative was first launched by Debswana in 2008 and the re-launch was held under the theme “Don’t Support it, Report it”.
However, Katlholo lauded Debswana for coming up with such an initiative as it will help fight unethical behavior in the organization. He also commended the initiative, saying that Debswana is setting the tone where employees, suppliers and other business partners alike are expected to report known or suspected misconduct that may negatively affect the company’s operations.
“The ethics hotline initiative will help the organization to detect and uncover problems before they become entrenched and have a devastating impact on its reputation,” he said.
He further said that it is disturbing to note that a lot of reputable corporate organizations in the country continue to be embroiled in allegations of fraud, sexual harassment, gender inequality and racial discrimination.
“I would also like to laud Debswana for finding it prudent to come with this initiative as it will help protect its image, employees, customers and stakeholders from the shackles of moral decay,” he added.
Katlholo said that, according to the 2012 ACFE Global Study, the most effective method for reducing workplace fraud is the application of an ethics hotline to allow and encourage employees, customers and others to report corruption and any wrong doing. He said that tips have been shown time and time again to be the best way fraud is uncovered and anonymity makes it far more likely that people will come forward with information.
“The best practice in whistle blowing demands that confidentiality and anonymity must be respected, personnel handling the reports are trained and well grounded specialists where investigation has to allow and encourage employees, customers and others to report corruption and wrongdoing,” he said.