Sep 27, 2018 News
…Statia calls on officials to be more proactive
By Kiana Wilburg
Internal auditors are duty bound to identify and help management to weed corrupt moles and schemes. But statistics show that instead of internal auditors, it is whistleblowers who seem to be the ones exposing more acts of dishonesty.
It is on this premise that Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia, said that certainly, the statistics can be equalized if internal auditors can be more proactive. Statia who is also a Chartered Accountant, made this known at a workshop for internal auditors, which was held at the Regency Hotel. The Institute of Internal Auditors (Guyana) organized the event.
There, the tax chief said that every day, one hears about fraud, corruption and collusion, many of which are carried out under the very eyes of internal auditors and they maintain their silence either through fear of retribution or by colluding with the very persons who carry out these crimes.
Statia said, “But as internal auditors, you are duty bound to identify and help management to weed out these persons. Remember you signed up for this profession and your omission to act makes you as guilty as the criminal. Be proud of your profession and do your work without fear or favour.”
He then reminded his attentive audience of internal auditors about the importance of being ethical.
Statia said that the primary responsibility of ethics not only lies with the leaders of the organization. He said that it is an imperative for everyone in the organization to display similar behaviour. Statia said that each employee from top to bottom must be committed to ethical behaviour for a company to be successful. The tax chief said that internal auditors can assist in ensuring everyone in the organization understands their responsibility for ethical behaviour. The Chartered Accountant said that this comes with discussing and educating employees on elements of the organization’s control environment.
Further to this, Statia said that ethics and corporate responsibility do not necessarily equate to honesty in the workplace. As such, Statia said that organisations must ensure that all professionals feel that potential issues can be discussed with management. He said, “As internal auditors, when you are faced with an ethical dilemma, you must ask yourself whether you are looking at the situation as honestly and transparently as you can. Thereafter, it is your obligation to raise those questions to individuals in positions of responsibility.”
On the issue of integrity, Statia said that this speaks to the adherence to a moral code, reflected in honesty and harmony in what one thinks, says, and does. “As such, those who we regard with high integrity normally possess a strong set of moral ethics. From a corporate viewpoint, if the members of your leadership team are individuals whom the employee population views as having strong integrity, then employees will emulate these persons. Integrity is therefore closely correlated with having a strong ethical environment,” expressed the GRA Commissioner General.
Turning his attention to corporate responsibility, Statia said that each employee owns this. He said that organizations must learn to embrace the concept that individuals who work in the organization have valuable day-to-day observations that can improve operations and business processes. Statia said that the inability to encourage feedback from employees and to provide an outlet to express these thoughts itself is a failure of corporate responsibility.
But Statia’s most important piece of advice to the internal auditors yesterday was in relation to silence.
The tax chief said, “Silence can often occur due to the fear of retribution. However, employees must be able to question day-to-day activities. The Internal audit function may sometimes be the appropriate outlet for expressing these concerns or questions if not through an independent hotline, then by means that can maintain anonymity.”
“As an internal auditor, the concept of silence is golden should not be one that you abide by. You should understand and acknowledge that silence is a form of acceptance. Your job is to help the organization understand issues as they happen so that appropriate actions can be taken. The concept of ethics stretches beyond the walls of the organization in which you work.”
The Commissioner General added that by understanding the concepts and psychology behind ethical behaviour, internal auditors will be able to evaluate the culture and control environment and make a greater impact in the society within which they work and live.
The only savior of Guyana
Oct 02, 2023Kaieteur Sports – The Andrew Lewis National Novice Boxing Championship continued its riveting action on Saturday at the National Gymnasium, located along Mandela Avenue. Day Two showcased the...
Oct 02, 2023
Oct 02, 2023
Oct 02, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.