Efficiency and effectiveness of fraud risk management in the Department of Health, eThekwini District - KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Fraud, corruption and maladministration in South Africa has not only led to the looting of state funds, but has denied the poor access to basic services. The South African government has measures in place including legislation, codes of conducts, laws, and rules in its efforts to combat fraud. Over and above these measures, the government has established Chapter 9 institutions to play an oversight role as it tries to promote good governance and restore trust in public service. The aim of this study was informed by whether the fraud fighting (Fraud Prevention Plan) measures, policies, plans and strategies of the KwaZulu Natal Department of Health are efficient, effective and if they are yielding any benefits. The study was conducted in the eThekwini Region of KwaZulu Natal; a sample of 120 employees from the Department was randomly drawn and 91 responses were received (76% response rate). The sample was not based on their gender, position held or the level of education. Responses were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Findings revealed that more than 80% of the respondents agreed that the Department is crippled by fraud and more than 82% have never attended a fraud awareness training, while more than 72% did not even know the Department’s Tip-Offs Anonymous (whistle-blowers hotline) number. An overwhelming majority agreed that the Department is a victim of fraud committed by greedy and unethical staff members. Over 83% of the respondents believed that stronger internal controls can prevent the occurrence of fraud, while 81% felt that it was management’s responsibility to prevent fraud in the Department. The researcher recommended that the Department embark on a fraud awareness campaign that will give training to staff regarding its existing fraud prevention plan. It was also recommended that new employees be trained on this plan. Communicating the findings and decisions taken on the perpetrators of fraud was seen as one way of sending a strong message to the employees that fraudsters will not be tolerated in the Department. The study achieved it objectives, although there were limitations such as the limited literature in general on the efficiency and effectiveness of fraud risk management.
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