Database of ex-employees needed to check fraud

A BUSINESS risk consultant, Mr Harry Baiden, has called for the creation of a database on ex-employees across all industries to help in the fight against employee fraud in the country.

According to him, individuals who perpetuated various crimes and offences in organisations turned out to be very consistent with their practice and, therefore, getting to know their employment track record was easily accessible was more likely to make them desist from the practice.

Mr Baiden, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GAVAC Business Solutions, a Human Resource Technology and Risk Management solutions provider, was sharing some perspectives on how to address the rising cases of employee fraud using the recent happenings in the banking sector as reference.

In an interview on September 12, Mr Baiden said: “The database will be very effective because right now we will have a database where we can actually reference and we will get to know and determine the people that are committing some of these offences and as a result we can streamline some of these processes to combat employee theft and fraud.”

He explained that employees had the leeway to commit these crimes because they could easily go through the system and get new jobs without the new employers knowing why they left their old jobs.

“It will help reduce the incidence of employee theft and fraud, in the banking sector as well. When employees know that their record will be stored, it will actually serve as a deterrent in taking part of some of these crimes,” he said.

No Legal framework
There is currently no law mandating employers to conduct background checks on employees; but, according to Mr Baiden, there was the need to develop that framework considering the increasing incidents of crime within institutions across different sectors of the economy.

“Currently, there is no framework. It is up to the regulators to actually come up with these things. I feel if this is actually taken on and implemented, it will go a long way to reduce some of these incidences,” he said.

Verifying background
Mr Baiden also called on hiring managers to take background verification of new employees seriously to help address the rising incidence of employee fraud in the country.

He said although most employers use clearance by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as their background check, it was important to conduct a holistic check, including verifying their educational background and certification, employment history and residential addresses.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently cited the increase number of fraud incidents in the sector. It said between 2016 and 2017, the banking sector recorded a 41 per cent increase in the cases of employee theft and fraud rising from 1,001 cases of employee theft and fraud to 1,418 cases in 2017.

The cases is however been aggravated by the involvement of some rogue employees who either work alone or connive with others who perpetuated these crimes.

The regulator also faulted the financial institutions for failing to properly vet the backgrounds of their employees and called for more secure ways to check backgrounds of employees to help reduce these fraudulent activities.

Mr Baiden said “What we need to do is to take on background verification seriously. Right now, a lot of institutions understand that background verification is very important but starts and ends with CID checks, but that is just one component of it.”

“A comprehensive background check of an individual has to do with their address, their education background and certifications, their employment history. Speaking to their HR managers and colleagues will actually give you a true picture of the individual you are considering to hire,” he said.

He said a proper vetting of the background of employees would ensure that companies were hiring the right people because often, it was inside employees who connive with others to perpetuate the fraud.

“It all boils down to proper vetting; we need to make sure that we are hiring the right individuals and properly vetting their background.”

“One thing you realise is that someone submits a CV and they actually omit the fact that they worked in a previous institutions because they probably were actually let go. If we conduct thorough checks we can minimise these incidents,” he said.