Monrovia — The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in Liberia has commemorated this year's International Fraud Awareness Week in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties.
This year's celebration was marked by providing awareness on fraud and the consequences of fraud in various churches.
"On Sunday we went to various churches; letting people know what fraud is and how it affects the family, the community and the country as a whole. We told them that fraud is simply means cheating, dishonesty and these are elements of fraud... ," Atty. Augustine G. Chenoway, president, ACFE, Liberia chapter.
According to Atty. Chenoway, as fraud examiners, they document the occurrence and incidence of fraud which can be used in court for prosecution.
He added that as a group helping to minimize fraud in Liberia, their focus is not only combating fraud in government but also creating the necessary awareness that within schools and homes that will inculcate a culture of financial discipline and honesty to avert future fraudulent activities.
He lamented that ACFE is not receiving financial support from any entity or agency, both local and international, and that their awareness program was funded by dues paid by members.
"We have contributed personally to the organization to be able to provide information to our people, especially our young people and we intend to spread the message in all of the counties; the only thing is we are constrained with resource so, the next time we are going to go from county to county and gradually we will be able to cover the entire country," he said.
He noted that awareness materials for the celebration was provided them by USAID as their support towards their initiative.
The ACFE executive pointed out US$3.7 trillion is lost to fraud each year. According to him, minimizing or preventing fraud would require entities to adopt a code of ethics for management and its employees. They will also have to evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls and identify areas of the business that are vulnerable to fraud.
He also encouraged that when hiring, there must be a conduct of background investigations by checking educational, credit and employment history as well as references.
Atty. Chenoway mentioned the need for training workers in fraud prevention techniques and communicate regularly to staff about anti-fraud policies, ways to report suspicions of misconduct and the potential consequences of fraudulent behavior.