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Exit Interviews

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If they are handled well, exit interviews can be a wonderful opportunity to gain intelligence about fraud in your organisation as well as system weaknesses conducive to fraud and corruption. 

This is presented to help you ensure that your exit interviews provide you with important information for controlling fraud and corruption. 

 

The interview should be conducted by staff outside of the area in which the person worked.

 

 

 

The interview should be conducted in a friendly manner. The interviewer should show that he or she empathises with the person. 

 

 

 

The interviewer should not “buy in” to any grievances that the person might have. If the person gets angry the interviewer should try to calm him or her and promise to pass on any allegations or grievances to the appropriate part of the organisation, if this is what the person wants.

 

 

 

The order in which questions are asked can be important. Generally the interviewer should first ask the person if he or she knows of any opportunities for fraud, corruption or unethical practices.

 

 

 

The opportunities should be discussed until the interviewer understands these or has obtained enough information to pass on to management in the area so that action can be taken.

 

 

 

The interviewer should ask if there are pressures or temptations from external sources to become involved in corruption or unethical practices, for example suppliers or customers constantly offering bribes or excessive gifts and benefits.

 

 

 

Issues that should generally be explored include:

·         Fraud

·         Corruption

·         Conflicts of interest

·         Misuse of information

·         Misuse of resources

·         Second jobs and private businesses

·         Harassment or discrimination of staff

·         Customers, suppliers or other people being favoured or discriminated against

 

 

 

Generally the interviewer should avoid using words like fraud, corruption, bribery, crimes, dishonesty, etc in favour of words that do not have a pejorative context. For example the interviewer should ask about taking items from the warehouse, rather than stealing.

 

 

 

If there are many opportunities, pressures or temptations, the interviewer should ask the person to focus on the major ones.

 

 

 

The interviewer should then ask questions to find out if people were utilising these opportunities to perpetrate fraud or giving in to the pressures to become involved in corruption or unethical practices. This should be done in a manner so that it is clear that the interviewer is not asking the person to name names.

 

 

 

When the person is telling about practices in the area in which he or she worked, he or she should generally not be interrupted with questions. When he or she has finished talking, questions can be asked to fill in the missing details and clarify matters.

 

 

 

The person should be asked questions to narrow down the areas in which fraud, corruption or unethical practices occurred, to allow the individuals to be more easily identified.

 

 

 

The interviewer should then ask more detailed questions to, as subtly as possible, ascertain the identities of the individuals involved.

 

 

 

If the person shows a reluctance to give details the interviewer should try to find out what the reasons are for not giving the information.

 

 

 

The interviewer should assure the person that the organisation will take all possible measures to ensure that the source of the information will be kept confidential; if this will in fact happen. The person should not be given a guarantee of confidentiality as generally the source of information may be revealed through freedom of information or in any court or tribunal situation.

 

 

 

An attempt should be made to convince the person to name the individuals involved indirectly and even directly.

 

 

 

The interviewer should ask that person what he or she would do to reduce the fraud, corruption or unethical practices and the opportunities for them.

 

 

 

If the interviewer has made promises he or she should take every measure to keep them.

 

 

 

 

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For more tips, advice and practical pointers see Fraudproof Your Business Manual.