The Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC) today conducted an ethics and fraud awareness session with all of its employees, across all programmes within the organization.
The discussion was led by ECSECC’s Chairperson of the Board’s Sub-Committee on Audit, Risk and ICT, Loren Smith CA (SA) and ICT Specialist of the Sub-Committee Ben Bothma.
The session formed part of the organization’s efforts to drive ongoing awareness and information sharing in ethics and fraud awareness, with a similar session convened during 2021.
This sentiment was confirmed by Ms. Smith as she noted: "This is part of the awareness campaign by ECSECC to ensure that ethics and fraud are at the forefront of employees' thoughts in terms of what they can do, what they cannot do and what to look out for, to ensure that ECSECC's mission and objectives are properly achieved without any unethical or fraudulent behaviour.”
Ms. Smith noted further that in terms of ethics, the session was useful as it tried to employ real life and everyday examples of unethical and ethical behaviours, and dilemmas, to stimulate debate and discussion amongst participants so as to ensure that all staff were able to participate and fully comprehend what was expected from them.
Mr. Bothma said the session also looked at Information Technology and how it is applicable due to its pervasiveness in our day-to-day work. He continued to note: "We used many examples of how you would apply ethics to ICT related situations as well as how the pervasiveness of ICT lends itself to fraud in our organizations and how fraud can be carried out against us as an organization, and individuals, through various means.”
Ms. Smith further added, that: "Awareness for every single person needs to be consistent to ensure that we all know what's right and what's wrong and we are reminded of very real situations. Times change, for example, we had a very real example of that may happen in life where someone fetches their children from school whilst on a virtual meeting, is that right or wrong? A lot of debate was had in connection with that particular example and the conclusion is; not only is it ethically wrong but it is also putting your fellow South Africans at risk through driving whilst focusing on another task.”
ECSECC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Luvuyo Mosana said the organization did not have incidents of fraud and that the organization regularly conducts these sessions for the benefit of its employees. "Sessions that we convene on fraud are about ensuring that employees at all times are aware about their ethical behavior and conduct in respect of avoiding being found in fraudulent activities.”
In conclusion, Mr. Mosana emphasized why such regular and ongoing information sharing sessions were essential by making the following observation: "The world is changing quite drastically and there are many things that have been happening which could put people into unethical behaviours as well as find themselves engaging into fraudulent activities. So these are things that they are being forewarned on and helped to understand. That was the essence of the session”.