By Ernest Ambali
Tanzania recently formed a local Chapter of the world-wide Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Members of this association met in Arusha in November 2013.
The Tanzania Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Mr. Ludovick Utouh, spoke to the fraud control professionals and urged them to imbue its members with the needed Professional skills to enable them fight fraud in the country. But the CAG also told the ACFE Tanzania Chapter to use the media in their fight against fraud.
This was the pithy message delivered by the Controller and Auditor General when opening the Second Conference of the ACFE in Tanzania on 27th November, 2013 in Arusha.
“Huge, sums of monies are lost due to fraudulent activities across the region and Tanzania in particular. The lost resources would otherwise have been made available for the betterment of the country at large.
“It is the expectation of everyone here, that ACFE will continue to instil skills and regulate its members to professionally deal will the fraudulent activities in the country” he said.
The Tanzania chapter of the ACFE was registered in May 2012 and held its first conference in October – six months later–in Dar es Salaam. Speaking after an introductory speech by the Chapter’s President, Mr. Philip Urio, Mr. Utouh said the ACFE Chapter in Tanzania should not be left to fight this international crime alone.
“State agencies such as the PCCB [and] Police should co-operate with ACFE in this war. The media is a strong open actor and watch dog; it is also critical in uncovering fraud and corruption,” he said.
“This is so because news on fraud is immediately acted upon not only by the state but also by the public. Thus effective media participation in the fight against fraud is extremely valuable in providing information and exposing vulnerable fraud indicators to the public” he explained.
Mr. Utouh emphasized that this professional association cannot spread its activities without using the news media, given its central role of exposing corrupt people in both the public and private sectors.
“I am confident that if you, members of the chapter, are very ethical, professional, patriotic enough and work as a team, fraud in this country will be alleviated. [But] it is important to know that as you plan to fight this evil, its perpetrators are also planning to frustrate your efforts,” he said.
“It is not enough to have Certificates and capacities in the fight against fraud. What matters is the ability to transform them into capacities and use them in the real war against fraud” the CAG pointed out.
In his speech to invite Mr. Utouh, the guest of honour, to open the conference which ended on 28th November last year, Mr. Urio, the ACFE Tanzania Chapter President said the chapter was registered under the Companies Act Cap 212RF 2002 of the United republic of Tanzania.
The Chapter is being managed by Professionals from various fields of learning and walks of life but with a common bond of fighting fraud, which is the twin brother of corruption. One of the major roles of the chapter which has over 30 members, is to raise awareness among the general public on fraud and financial crimes through delivery of civic education.
“Fraud is a universal challenge and will continue to be a major area of serious concern in both the public and private sectors”, Mr. Urio Said. “Fraud fighting professionals need to set up – to – date solutions that can be quickly understood and implemented.
“It is my hope that after this conference we shall have known each other so that we work together as one family in the fight against fraud”, he concluded. The conference drew participants from the public including government and the private sectors. Closing the conference, which was held at Palace Hotel, Arusha, the Internal Auditor General, Mr. Ntunga described the conference as “successful”.