TORONTO—Now, more than ever, Canadian companies should be taking steps to prevent fraud, according to the Toronto-based consulting firm, Ernst & Young.
Recently, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) called for stricter anti-corruption investigations worldwide.
“Canada may be one of the least corrupt countries, but the OECD underlined areas of real concern,” says Mike Savage, Canadian Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services Leader at Ernst & Young.
The OECD noted Canada has only prosecuted one case in the 10 years since anti-corruption laws were passed.
Savage says if Canada implements even some of the OECD recommendations, businesses here will have to reinforce their anti-fraud processes.
Those that don’t could fall short of tighter reporting and other requirements.
The report suggests companies consider five questions to assess risks:
- Do we have high risk exposure, in terms of overseas operations and interactions with government officials?
- Do we have a policy and clear procedural guidance to prevent corrupt payments? Are workers in exposed areas aware of, and trained on, the policy and related risks?
- When was a potential issue last detected and escalated? Are our detective controls in place? Are employees choosing to look the other way?
- Have we done sufficient due diligence on risk areas such as recent acquisitions or distribution channel partners?
- Were there recent changes to statutes or law enforcement priorities in the countries in which we operate?