Anti-Fraud

Background

The Anti-Corruption and Fraud Policy is established to facilitate the development of controls that will aid in the detection and prevention of corruption with, and fraud against the African Men for Sexual Health and Rights [AMSHeR]. It is the intent of AMSHeR to promote consistent organizational behaviour by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility for the development of controls and conduct of investigations.

Scope of policy

This policy applies to any irregularity, or suspected irregularity, involving employees as well as consultants, vendors, contractors, subcontractors, or outside agencies doing business with employees of such agencies, and/or any other parties with a business relationship with AMSHeR.

Any investigative activity required will be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position/title, or relationship to AMSHeR.

Policy

Management is responsible for the detection and prevention of corruption, fraud, misappropriations, and other irregularities. Corruption is defined as the misuse of office or power for private gain. Fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to his or her injury. Each member of the management team will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility, and be alert for any indication of irregularity.

Any irregularity that is detected or suspected must be reported immediately to the AMSHeR Executive Director and Chairperson of the Board Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, who will be responsible for coordinating all investigations with an appointed legal or other relevant investigative authority.

Actions constituting corruption or fraud

The terms defalcation, misappropriation, and other fiscal irregularities refer to, but are not limited to:

  • Any dishonest or fraudulent act
  • Misappropriation of funds, supplies, or other assets
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
  • Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of company activities
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside parties
  • Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services/materials to the Company. Exception: Gifts less than R200 in value. Destruction, removal, or inappropriate use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment; and/or Any similar or related irregularity

Other irregularities

Irregularities concerning an employee’s moral, ethical, or behavioral conduct should be resolved by departmental management, the Executive Director and Human Resources Manager. If there is any question as to whether an action constitutes fraud, contact the Chairperson of AMSHeR Board FARCO for guidance.

Investigation responsibilities

The Executive Director and the Chair of FARCO have the primary responsibility for the investigation of all suspected fraudulent acts as defined in the policy. If the investigation substantiates that fraudulent activities have occurred, the Executive Director and Chair of FARCO will issue reports to appropriate designated personnel and, when appropriate, to the Board through the FARCO. Decisions to prosecute or refer the investigation results to the appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for independent investigation will be made in conjunction with legal counsel, senior management, and the Board, as will final decisions on disposition of the case.

Confidentiality

AMSHeR treats all information received confidentially. Any employee who suspects dishonest or fraudulent activity will notify the Executive Director or the Chair of FARCO immediately, and should not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews/interrogations related to any suspected fraudulent act (see REPORTING PROCEDURE section below).

Investigation results will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those who have a legitimate need to know. This is important in order to avoid damaging the reputations of persons suspected but subsequently found innocent of wrongful conduct and to protect the Company from potential civil liability.

Authorization for investigating fraud

The Executive Director and Chair of FARCO will have: Free and unrestricted access to all Company records and premises, whether owned or rented; and The authority to examine, copy, and/or remove all or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities on the premises without prior knowledge or consent of any individual who might use or have custody of any such items or facilities when it is within the scope of their investigation. The Executive Director and the Chair of FARCO may make the decision to immediately send the suspected employee on a paid leave while the investigation is undertaken.

Reporting procedures

Great care must be taken in the investigation of suspected improprieties or irregularities so as to avoid mistaken accusations or alerting suspected individuals that an investigation is under way.

An employee who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity will contact the Executive Director or Chair of FARCO immediately. In the event that suspected fraudulent activity is being conducted by the Executive Director or the Chair of FARCO, the Chairperson of the Board should be contacted. The employee or other complainant may remain anonymous.

All inquiries concerning the activity under investigation from the suspected individual, his or her attorney or representative, or any other inquirer should be directed to the Executive Director, Chair of FARCO and/or the organisation’s legal counsel. No information concerning the status of an investigation will be given out. The proper response to any inquiries is: “I am not at liberty to discuss this matter.” Under no circumstances should any reference be made to “the allegation,” “the crime,” “the fraud,” “the forgery,” “the misappropriation,” or any other specific reference.

The reporting individual should be informed of the following: Do not contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution. Do not discuss the case, facts, suspicions, or allegations with any one unless specifically asked to do so by the Executive Director, Chair of FARCO or the organisation’s legal counsel.

Termination and disciplinary process

If an investigation results in a prima facie evidence of fraudulent activity, the findings will be reviewed for approval by the designated representatives from Human Resources and the organisation’s legal counsel , before any disciplinary process is commenced in line with AMSHeR disciplinary procedures. Legal counsel, human resources and the Board do not have the authority to terminate. The decision to terminate an employee is made by the employee’s management. In the case of the agency’s Executive Director, authority to terminate employment lies with the organisation’s Board of Directors.

Whistle-blower hotlines

The Executive Director together with the Board Director has designated an email address fraud@amsher.org for the reporting of suspected fraudulent activities. An investigation shall be commenced within 72 hours of receipt of information of the suspected fraudulent activity.

A notice specifying these hotlines shall be displayed publicly within the premises of the organisation and clause inserted in contracts with members and vendors referencing this policy and specifying the hotlines.

Administration

The Executive Director is responsible for the administration, revision, interpretation, and application of this policy. The policy will be reviewed annually and revised as needed.