Dubai anti-fraud partnership provides expert training, certification for FAD employees

By Scott Patterson, CFE

On Jan. 21, the Financial Audit Department (FAD) – Dubai Government announced a partnership with the ACFE, to provide expert fraud training and certification for FAD employees.

His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed AlHuraiz, deputy director general of FAD, and ACFE President and CEO James D. Ratley, CFE, formally unveiled the partnership with a signing ceremony at H.H Dubai Rulers Court Auditorium. Iyad Mourtada, general manager for OpenThinking Academy, introduced AlHuraiz and Ratley. (OpenThinking is the exclusive ACFE Authorized Trainer of the CFE Exam Review Course for the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.)

As formalized by the agreement, the ACFE is providing resources and instruction to help FAD employees earn the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential, recognized globally as a symbol of knowledge and expertise in the anti-fraud profession.

The collaboration comes under the ACFE's Law Enforcement and Government Partnership (LEGP), which assists domestic and international agencies at the federal, state and local levels in the fight against fraud. There are currently more than 100 agencies in the program worldwide, including the FBI, City of London Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Financial Audit Authority – Ajman, UAE.

AlHuraiz said the agreement is a significant step towards strengthening the partnership with the leading association in fraud detection and prevention. AlHuraiz said the agreement will help "prepare FAD employees to get the CFE [credential]; in turn, this will lead to the continuous improvement in FAD work and help FAD to achieve its strategic goals effectively and efficiently."

Ratley said the partnership demonstrates the commitment of FAD leadership to countering fraud in Dubai.

"Fraud continues to be a serious problem across the globe, and CFEs have the expertise needed to prevent and detect it," Ratley said. "With this partnership, the FAD here in Dubai is taking a proactive stance by providing its employees with the training they need to root out fraud at every level. The United Arab Emirates was recently ranked the least corrupt nation in the Arab world — and thanks to the commitment of agencies like the FAD, it will continue to be a leader in the fight against fraud."

Ratley presented "How to Prevent and Detect Fraud in Government" at the event, outlining key facts and methods government workers need to know to help limit fraud losses. He noted that according to the ACFE's 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, each case of fraud costs government organizations a median $90,000. The most common types of fraud in government are corruption (36 percent of cases), billing schemes (19 percent of cases) and theft of non-cash assets (18 percent of cases). Ratley mentioned the factors involved in preventing fraud at government agencies, which include:

  • Ethical culture and tone at the top.
  • Code of conduct.
  • Employee education and awareness.
  • Employee support programs.
  • Due diligence in hiring.
  • Physical safeguards.
  • Segregation of duties.
  • Mandatory vacation/job rotation policies.
  • Perception of detection.

An educated workforce is one of the keys to fraud detection, according to Ratley. Understanding the difference between normal business practices and what might be signs of fraud can help make employees the first line of defense against government fraud, uncovering things like:

  • Internal control weaknesses.
  • Accounting anomalies.
  • Operational anomalies.
  • Behavioral/lifestyle red flags.

Three FAD employees have already earned the CFE credential under the partnership, and Ratley recognized them at the Dubai ceremony. Moreover, the credential is now a preferred hiring qualification for FAD's anti-fraud personnel, and extra consideration is provided to CFEs for promotional opportunities within FAD. Through the agreement, FAD aims to further its mission to "ascertain legality, adequacy, and correct calculation and soundness of management of public funds; [attain] highest level of performance through achieving the efficiency, effectiveness, economy, and soundness of the financial operations' progress."

Following Ratley's trip, the Dubai government announced that the CFE credential is now one of the official credentials for its Dubai Government International Professional Certificates Initiative, making it an official credential not just for the FAD, but for all Dubai government departments.

Scott Patterson, CFE, is the ACFE senior media relations specialist.

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