From the President

By Toby J. F. Bishop, CFE, CPA, FCA

We should have zero tolerance for fraud in government. In the United States, the Sarbanes-Oxley era is now well underway. Corporate fraud has changed from being considered an inevitable occasional nuisance to a disease like Bubonic Plague, something to be absolutely avoided. The public sector needs a similar change in attitude.   

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a reaction to apparent corporate unwillingness to take fraud seriously and fight it vigorously. The public accepts that the leaders of a public company should be held responsible for fraud. They are either guilty of committing it or they are negligent in allowing it to happen undetected. Either way the consequences for them are harsh.

If a corporate employee accepts payments or substantial gifts from a supplier it has the appearance of a bribe that should lead to the employee's (and the payor's) termination.

And if a company has such messy accounting records that they cannot produce a clean set of audited accounts, the CEO and CFO are usually considered incompetent (or trying to conceal something) and replacements are brought in to do the job properly.




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