Capital Metro joins ranks of supporters for November 8-14 Fraud Awareness movement

Capital Metro has joined the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) as an Official Supporter to promote anti-fraud awareness and education. Fraud Awareness Week is this week, November 8-14. According to a survey of fraud experts conducted by the ACFE, intense financial pressures caused by the economic crisis have led to an increase in the risk of fraud.

Thus far, hundreds of organizations have partnered with the ACFE, the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education, in a commitment to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard business and investments from this growing intrusion. While all organizations participating have shown a commitment to this week-long movement, the ACFE specifically acknowledged Capital Metro’s special efforts and events in its kick-off of the awareness week.

Capital Metro possesses an Internal Audit Department comprised of three full-time employees educated and trained to audit all aspects of Capital Metro’s operations and processes. The mission of the department is to assist Capital Metro’s Board and management to achieve its goals and objectives by providing independent and objective insights, analyses, and recommendations to enact constructive change while effectively managing risk. To ensure the ability to fulfill its obligations, the Internal Audit department possesses organizational independence by reporting directly to the Planning/Finance/Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The team includes the Vice President for Internal Audit, Caroline Beyer, a senior level internal auditor–myself–Marcus Horton, and recently hired internal auditor, Erin Hehn. I’m designated a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

According to its 2008 Report to the Nation, the ACFE has estimated that fraud robs the United States of 7% of its revenues each year. Using the gross domestic product figures released, this equates to $994 billion per year. This staggering figure has a detrimental effect as the nation struggles to recover from the current recession.

During this awareness week, Capital Metro has planned a variety of internal activities for all of its employees. These activities include daily emailed and posted factoids on fraud, a quiz through which participants can earn prizes generously donated by the ACFE, and a Friday brown bag lunch during which employees can informally discuss fraud concerns, methods to detect and report fraud, and just comfortably get to know the auditors and the services they deliver to the organization.

In the course of fulfilling its responsibilities, the Internal Audit team has provided anti-fraud training throughout Capital Metro and StarTran during 2009 to raise awareness of how fraud is caused, indicators to recognize that may signal fraud is/has occurred, and methods to report fraud within Capital Metro, StarTran, or their contractors. To ensure proper follow-through on all reports made of fraud, abuse, and waste, the hotline created by Capital Metro is directly monitored by Internal Audit. Effectively fighting fraud requires the teamwork of not only Internal Audit but all employees and individuals throughout the communities that Capital Metro serves. For this reason, this hotline is available to all employees of Capital Metro and StarTran as well as contractors, customers, and the public.

Capital Metro Internal Audit invites your comments and thoughts about internal auditing, Capital Metro’s involvement in this special week of education and awareness, and the regular functions provided by the Internal Audit department.

Reports of fraud or indicators thereof should be reported through one of these formal methods:

Phone: (512) 385-0371
Fax: (512) 389-7559
Internet: www.capmetro.org/ethics/ethics.asp

Just as fraud impacts all businesses and individuals, fighting fraud must be the objective of all. Capital Metro and its Internal Audit Department thank you for showing an interest in this objective.

For more information on International Fraud Awareness Week, visit www.fraudweek.com

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