Common pitfalls in investigation and disciplinary processes.
"It takes less time to do a thing right, than it
does to explain why you did it wrong." – Henry
Namibia has seen its fair share of fraud and misappropriation related matters, but what has stood out is the number of instances where alleged suspects have walked scot-free. These have been mainly due to:
In the Namibian context, these factors have been discussed in the ensuing paragraphs.
The crux of any fraud related matter is the investigative process that follows to confirm or refute the allegations raised, by way of collection and analysis of factualinformation. Often there is such an urgency to get to the end result / product, that due process is ignored, forgotten or circumvented. Technology is making fraud and collusion easier which only further emphasise the need for an evidentially sound investigation process. The common issues that occur are:
Factual evidence should always be the basis of a forensic investigation and hearsay must not influence the review process. The common pitfalls noted in this area are:
The investigative process culminates with a report and, if sufficient evidence is found that confirm the allegations, disciplinary hearings and/or litigation proceedings occur thereafter. With regard to internal disciplinary processes, some of the common pitfalls are:
It is extremely critical to conduct investigations right the first time, especially given the risk of losing evidence and also because of the costs involved in such a process. Namibian newspapers have reported significant examples where investigations and suspensions have been challenged successfully on the basis of a technicality.
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