Updates

Ever thought about speaking up..?

Recently the team at Core Integrity critically assessed the report into different whistleblower procedures by Griffith University professors Brown and Lawrence.

The report focused on strengths, weaknesses and differences in general across corporate, government and not for profit organisations.

Among the key take outs for us were:

  • The lack of formal whistleblower policies and procedures in place
  • The lack of education and training available to those responsible for managing whistleblower programs
  • The lack of protection for whistleblowers
  • The negative impact on culture felt in organisations where people don’t feel safe to speak up

The results were broadly as expected with government industries having the most procedures in place, then corporate firms then not for profit organisations.

Professor Brown said, “The fact that even the most advanced public sectors are also still weak on support and protection processes, confirms the need for new thinking and improved, smarter standards across the board”.

A parliamentary inquiry has just been completed to examine best practice criteria for legislation and recommendations for reform across all industries. Talk to us today about the results of the parliamentary inquiry and how to adopt the recommendations in you organisation.

Ready to unlock the value of experience based learning?

Looking for the next leap forward? Want a simple and effective competitive advantage for your people in a single day? Sound to good to be true? It isn’t.

It’s all about how you go about it.

eLearning, lectures, seminars and face to face training are all valuable education and awareness tools for your organisation, but to really give your people and organisation a competitive advantage experience based learning is the missing ingredient to reach new heights.

Talk to us today about how our experience based learning suite will compliment and improve your existing learning program. Tailored and targeted to meet the specific needs of your board, executives, management, staff or players.

Lead the way.

 

Worried about black swans?

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

 – Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Black swans, unknown unknowns, latent and high risk incidents…. Fraud and integrity risks are likely to impact your business. But did you know they can be detected early and successfully managed, or even prevented all together? Are you aware of the fraud and integrity risks waiting to impact your organisation?

Proactive fraud and integrity risk management provides your organisation the greatest return on investment in the market. In 2016 the median loss per incident was $150,000, with 23.2% of cases causing losses of $1 million or more.*

Talk to us today about the proactive steps you can take to prevent the harmful effects of these unmanaged risks on your people, brand, reputation and financial strength of your business.

*ACFE Report to the Nations on occupational fraud abuse, 2016 Global fraud study.

Best Practice Misconduct Investigations

Does your corporate or sporting organisation have the capability to conduct best practice workplace misconduct investigations following due process and natural justice? Are you confident of investigating and tabling allegations to employees within applicable laws and regulatory requirements? Do you know the trigger point for when an independent investigation is necessary?

Recently English soccer striker Eniola Aluko spoke out about bullying. One of the fallout issues was the investigation of the complaint itself. Aluko alleged she was victimised as a result of speaking up, evidence was overlooked and key witnesses were not spoken to as part of the investigation process.

Aluko said, “If anybody, was going through something difficult in the team right now, would they speak out? That is the most damaging thing about this because if you think of a young player, for instance, who wants to play for England in the future – let’s say a young black player – she’s going to look at this and go: ‘If anything ever happens to me, what happened to Eni Aluko? I can’t say anything.’ That to me is the most heart-breaking thing.

“I do not think players are going to feel confident sharing grievances…  That’s dangerous, if players feel like they cannot speak out about certain things.”*

Core Integrity conduct independent, confidential workplace investigations to ensure the welfare and protection of all parties. All matters are investigated with best practice and within applicable law to ensure you get it right the first time.

Talk to us today about our workplace misconduct investigations and our Integrity Hotline which allows your people to speak up safely.

*Reference at http://m.bbc.com/sport/football/40995165

Diversity…..of thought and experience

Recently I was fortunate to be invited to be on a panel discussion hosted by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to talk about whistleblowing and creating a speak up culture.

I was joined on the panel by some great minds such as HSF Partners Mike Gonski and John O’Donnell, as well as the wonderful HR thought leader, Rhonda Brighton-Hall from M.W.A.H – Making Work Absolutely Human.

The discussion centred on a legislative update on whistleblowing in Australia by Andrew Eastwood from HSF before we delved into talking through a typical corporate case study of a  whistleblower matter.

You know the type, John in accounting sees an issue, tells Mary who now has to decide what to do…the Board now want to know how our whistleblowing policy and framework compares to best practice. Standard stuff right?

There was lots of talk about all of the important aspects of managing a whistleblower complaint, things like verifying the initial information as best you can, protecting the identity of the whistleblower and providing them with support, conducting some preliminary inquiries internally within the organisation, engaging internal and external counsel and getting on with the investigation and determining when and if you need to inform authorities and regulators.

Also important things like at the centre of all of this is a human being (the whistleblower) and for them to take the step to speak up they are taking the step of potentially breaking their relationship with the organisation. (Thanks Rhonda, always good to bring that human element back into the mix!)

It was a wide ranging and interesting discussion but one thing stood became really obvious to me on the night and reinforced what I have known for a long time – dealing with whistleblower complaints and related investigations is a complex business and often organisations don’t get the right people involved to navigate all of the risks and challenges they can throw up.

There are many, many factors and things to take into consideration at every stage of dealing with a serious whistleblower complaint, and even though all of the panel members had significant individual experience at being involved in whistleblower complaints in one form or another over their careers, one thing that stood out was this:

To deal with a whistleblower issue as best you can you need DIVERSITY.

Not diversity in age, gender or race but rather diversity of thought and  experience.

We hear lots about diversity in general but not enough about the benefits of diversity of thought and experience in bringing a collection of trained experts together, from different backgrounds and walks of like, with different but complementary skill sets, to deal with a complex and sensitive matter like this.

Take me for example. As a dyed-in-the wool investigator you get someone who is focused on process: eliciting information from the whistleblower and other witnesses, preserving and collecting evidence, removing potential conflicts of interest along the way, minimising risk, deploying appropriately skills investigators to interview the respondents and compiling factual reports free from opinion.

With our legal-eagle friends, you have folks who are focused on employment law obligations surrounding the whistleblower, witnesses and respondents and how the company treats those parties. They are also in tune to other legal risks that may arise depending on the nature of the issue like breaches of the Corporations Act. All of their advice and guidance is designed to do the job they were hired for: protect the organisation from potential litigation and help the organisation arrive at the right outcome.

Our dear HR friends are often caught in a rock and a hard place as they are often called upon by the organisation to manage the whistleblower and other witnesses, often with no specific training in these types of sensitive matters, all the while being required to provide advice to the organisation on the best way forward from a people perspective because at the end of the day, they represent the business, not the whistleblower. This is where conflicts often arise.

(As an aside this often causes many issues with the actual whistleblower who end up feeling betrayed after building trust and rapport with a HR rep and confiding with them. Another reason why it’s important to articulate roles and responsibilities under your Whistleblower policy.)

Sitting on that panel, surrounded by some great minds with diversity of experience, only served to reinforce to me just how important it is to bring a diverse range of experts to the table to help deal with a complex and sensitive matter like a whistleblower complaint.

Too often we see companies try and minimise who is involved in dealing wiht an issue like this and get it wrong. Whether it be the mismanagement of the whistleblower, mismanagement of the investigation itself, having a lack of diverse experience around the table can be costly for all involved.

Think about your organisation for a minute and ask yourself these simple questions:

  • who within your organisation has experience at dealing with whistleblower matters?
  • are any of those persons potentially conflicted as a result of their role within the organisation and shouldn’t be involved in all aspects of the matter? Think HR, Legal etc
  • have those who are involved received training on the company’s whistleblower policy, roles and responsibilities?

We know that diversity in general is a powerful differentiator in all aspects of our life, both at home and work, yet when it comes to crisis-like events or serious issues we all have a tendency to close ranks and try to deal with it ourselves or with a limited group of people, often with less than ideal outcomes.

Maybe it’s time to challenge that approach. Next time a whistleblower matter arises in your company, stop and look around at the group involved and ask yourself  “Have I got the right group of people with the right level of experience involved to drive this to a successful outcome for all involved?

Not just the company, but all involved, including the whistleblower.

 

 

 

 

Whistle-blowing Insight: Technology is just the start

I thought I would share some insights from some of the work we are doing with a range of clients at present around the hot topic of the moment: whistle-blowing.

There is a lot of talk about whistle-blowing at present (and for good reason) and with scandals now becoming a weekly occurrence across major corporates, sporting organisations and now universities, often I am asked for advice and assistance from clients on how they can tackle these issues head on, get an early heads up on potential misconduct before it becomes a crisis and encouragingly – how can they protect those who are brave enough to speak up in the first place.

Flavour of the month: Technology platforms

Perhaps one of the hottest topics around this discussion of late is the use of technology platforms in Whistle-blowing programs. For example in our business, we have partnered with Whispli – a tool that enables secure, anonymous two-way communications with whistle-blowers. It’s a great tool and our clients love what it brings to their program.

Globally, the largest company that specialises in ethics-style hotlines is Navex Global. Navex have literally thousands of clients and over time they have developed their own proprietary technology platform to help them manage disclosures for their clients. I have never used it so I can’t comment on how good it is.

Closer to home, other whistle-blower hotline service providers are going down the same path of developing their own in-house technology platforms to protect whistle-blower disclosures.

These are all positive developments. Positive developments for whistle-blowers who should now have access to safe and secure methods to report suspected or actual improper conduct and positive for organisations that are serious about dealing with whistle-blowing properly and can see the value an effective program has on improving their organisational culture and the conduct of their employees.

As much as these tools are great, they really are just that – a tool. They are simply a tool that can be used and leveraged to manage your program. But an effective whistleblower program is more than just the technology that supports it and that is why we are often called upon for our advice and support.

So you have chosen a technological solution to support your whistle-blower program but what’s next? Good question. Often organisations realise that implementing a technological solution is not as simple as it sounds and in fact, the entire program needs to be designed to support the technological solution.

Is the policy right? Does the framework and underlying operations of the program support the intent of the policy and the organisation’s commitment to whistle-blowing? Are those charged with overseeing or responding to whistle-blowers adequately trained? These are all good questions which often only lead to more questions and less answers.

This is where we often get called in. Companies make a decision to overhaul their whistle-blower program and decide to implement a new technology solution but soon realise it’s not as simple as it sounds.

So what is involved in getting your whistle-blower program up to scratch and implementing a technological solutions?

Let’s go over a few important elements that can make a massive difference to you having an effective whistle-blower program that your employees actually use (crazy concept I know right?), versus one that simply ticks a compliance box while senior management sit around holding their breath and hoping for the best.

1. Commitment and Tone from the Top

This might sound obvious and should go without saying, but for a whistle-blower program to be effective it needs a firm commitment from the senior executive team and the Board. Easier said than done.

The reality is I often hear from folks who say they are too worried about letting their employees speak up for fear of what might actually come out. What they don’t realise is that regardless of their position on the topic (think bullying, harassment and misconduct at a minimum), improper or unethical conduct is most likely occurring within the organisation and when it is left unchecked it has a detrimental effect long-term on the culture of the organisation, morale of employees and the organisation’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.

2. An effective and simple policy

Let’s be honest. Policies are boring. They are essential for any organisation to set the tone of expected behaviour and to articulate the organisation’s attitude and response to certain issues but, often these policies are too wordy, overly complicated and difficult for employees to understand, providing they could locate them in the first place!

Often the whistle-blower policies we see  are written with the organisation in mind and put employees second. Some have really onerous obligations on the type of conduct employees can report and the information they need to supply and leave employees feeling little confidence that their matter will be taken seriously and that they won’t be adversely impacted for speaking up.

A good whistle-blower policy, at a minimum, should clearly articulate the organisations commitment to whistle-blowing, encourage persons covered under the policy to report suspected or actual improper conduct as early as possible (i.e. not placing the onus on the employee to collect evidence and investigate before reporting) and make it very clear that those who seek protection will not be persecuted or adversely impacted as a result of them speaking up.

This is just a start. We are focusing on getting clients to consider what happens post a whistle-blower investigation to ensure the individual isn’t adversely impacted and there are mechanisms in place to check in and monitor this over an extended period of time.

3. Scope & Operating Model

This is where we really get in and roll our sleeves up and is the part I enjoy the most. This is where you get into the trenches and have some really interesting discussions with those who are trying to improve the way the organisation responds to and treats whistle-blowers.

Whilst a technology solution is great, in order for it to work you need to spend time working through the scope of your program, who is covered, what types of matters can be reported and who will receive those reports in order to respond. This isn’t as easy as it sounds and often organisations get bogged down at this part of the process.

We call this developing the operating model. If you are trying to do this yourself and are getting stuck, email or call me and I am happy to answer any questions you have. Each organisation is different and therefore has different requirements for their operating model.

4. Roles & Responsibilities

Setting aside say the ASX top 50 companies, the reality is most organisations don’t have the internal scale to justify having dedicated resources who are trained in whistle-blowing. As a result we see a range of approaches but one of the most common is where the Company Secretary is charged with overseeing the whistle-blower program and receives reports that are made, usually via a dedicated email address.

This can be problematic for a few reasons that we don’t have time to fully go into here in this article. Some of the issues with this approach include the reporting channel itself where the employee can be identified or has to create a bogus email address to remain anonymous.

In addition, if the Company Secretary is charged with receiving and actioning whistle-blower reports it can reduce the number of reports made about senior employees involved in improper conduct. Given we know that most serious fraud and misconduct issues are perpetrated by senior executives, this is perhaps one of the biggest reasons a whistle-blower program needs to be set up correctly to both encourage reporting and to protect the CoSec from being unfairly criticised.

Consideration also needs to be given to dedicated a formal Whistle-blower Protection Officer (WPO) and Whistle-blower Investigations Officers (WIO). If you need more information on these roles and why they are important, send me a message.

5. Marketing & Communications

What good is a kick-arse whistle-blower program if you don’t take the time to tell your employees about it? Not much. Funnily enough it still amazes me just how many organisations don’t place enough importance on this aspect. They have a policy, put it on the intranet, set up an email address and then don’t tell anyone about it.

The organisations who are doing well in this area (think ASX Top 20, Big banks etc) recognise previous deficiencies and now see the probative value of being proactive, communicating often and being transparent.

Check out the Australian Bankers Associations 6 Guiding Principles here for more information.

6. Education & Training

This is becoming an increasingly important focal point for organisations. Recent scandals and issues have highlighted that often, those charged with receiving and investigating whistle-blower complaints are either inexperienced or haven’t been trained on the organisation’s expectations.

When we work with organisations on designing and implementing their programs, education and training forms an important part of both the implementation process, as well as the ongoing management of the program.

At a minimum, you need to ensure that those who are accountable for receiving and responding to whistle-blower complaints understand the organisation’s policy and framework for treating whistle-blower complaints as well as any legislative obligations that may apply to their industry.

7. Regular audits or reviews

The size and maturity of your organisation will drive this last component. For smaller organisations it can be difficult to find the capacity, experience and dollars to conduct regular program reviews.

For larger organisations, with dedicated risk, compliance or audit functions, they are well served when they incorporate their Whistle-blower programs into their annual or bi-annual reviews.

Another good way to ensure your program is top notch and keeps pace with industry best practice is to periodically conduct an independent review of gap analysis.

Independent reviews can be highly valuable to identify how the program is performing, any gaps between the policy and intended operating model to what is actually occurring. Throw into the mix conducting a dip-sample review of reported issues and the whistle-blower’s experience and you will be in pole position to continually evolve your program.

In closing

Technology is great, and you really should be looking at what you are currently using to manage your whistle-blower disclosures and whether it is cutting the mustard. Look into what exists in the market but remember, technology is just a tool and underpins your program. It is how your program is structured, and how your technology is implemented that is the important part.

If you would like more information on any of the above feel free to reach out to me directly. We are always happy to answer questions and our aim is to transform whistle-blowing, one organisation at a time.

 

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

 

We are all familiar with the 1988 classic comedy film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, where two con men from different backgrounds try to out do each other in swindling $50,000 from a wealthy heiress. The film is set in the French Riviera where the rich and famous play. As the movie plays out, both men try and out do each other to gain free meals and access to large sums of cash.

Sound familiar? If you have been paying attention to the news over the past few years it sounds like it could be set in a local council, state government ministers office or union headquarters.

Dodgy councillors, crooked government ministers and entitled union reps. The past few years has seen a raft of public officials exposed for fraud and corruption ranging from multi-million dollar frauds, conspiracies to defraud, large scale bribes and kick-backs, not to mention the misuse of public and member contributions to fund lavish their lifestyles.

It’s great to see some of these issues starting to get exposed but the real question is: Just how big is this problem?

Answer: I reckon its Big with a capital B. This is only just the tip of the iceberg.

The disturbing part is to stop and think for a moment at just how long this type of behaviour has been going on and just how much money has been defrauded and misused across councils, unions and government departments over the years.

There is no doubt the tide is turning in the court of public opinion, perception and expectations when it comes to this dodgy conduct.

Whilst it has never been acceptable to commit fraud, have undeclared conflicts of interest and use public money as your personal piggy bank, the tide is now turning with those witnessing dodgy conduct more willing to speak up and report it.

What is interesting is that in the public sector there are pretty strong mechanisms in place around fraud and corruption as it relates to public officials. There is prescriptive legislation by virtue of the Public Interest Disclosures (PID) Act which outlines expectations, requirements and protections for those making disclosures on fraud, corruption, misconduct and maladministration.

The legislation is often supported with various government agencies charged with investigating corrupt conduct involving government employees and public officials.

When compared to the private sector, the government appears to be streets ahead from a policy and legislative perspective. And perhaps the scandals that have come to light over the past 5 years around the country are indicative of the progress being made.

Despite these scandals, I suspect the problem is much, much bigger than any of us realise across federal, state and local government departments when it comes to undeclared conflicts of interests, hidden beneficial ownership in companies, kick-backs and cash-in-kind benefits. Likewise in the private sector, I suspect there is far more fraud and corruption than is being uncovered.

The relative success achieved in the past few years across both the public and private sector in uncovering fraudulent conduct and corrupt schemes should be applauded but it’s just a start of what is sure to be a long journey as we turn the dial on integrity and appropriate conduct.

To support this we need strong public messaging from government and corporate leaders far more regularly who make it clear that this type of conduct is not acceptable. And for those being caught, strong sanctions need to apply. I was thoroughly impressed (which is rare) in the sentence handed down to former NSW Resources Minister Ian Macdonald who was sentenced to 10 years for misconduct in public office. It is tough sentences like that, along with sacking and referral to police for private sector employees that will assist in turning the fight against fraud and corruption.

It is often easy to enact a new piece of legislation or a new corporate policy to say that you are taking these issues seriously however one of the most important aspects often overlooked is the effectiveness of your underlying operation to support the policy.

Here are some questions to consider:

How does it work in practice? Do the leaders of your organisation regularly promote their position on speaking up? It is one thing to have a policy and tick the box but how often do the leaders of your organisation talk about fraud, corruption and the organisation’s expectations? Leaders should be weaving into their messages regularly their stance on encouraging people from across the organisation to speak up.

Can your employees or members report issues safely and easily without fear of either being identified or suffering retribution? Can they report suspicions without being ridiculed? I often hear from those charged with managing their fraud and corruption response that they don’t want people to report all kinds of issues, have too many reports and so on. This is crazy talk. If you set the tone and make it safe to speak up you can put measures in place to effectively assess reports. Sometimes you need a few data points on an issue to launch an inquiry, if you discourage people from reporting hunches or suspicions you might miss an issue.

Is there a clearly defined process for assessing those reports and ensuring there is an independent approach to investigating the issues? Too often organisations handle tip offs internally which discourages people from speaking up, especially against senior executives for fear the matter will be swept under the carpet. An email managed by the CEO or Company Secretary’s PA. This isn’t really an effective way to encourage people to speak up. Sure you have ‘ticked the box’ and complied with your obligations but more can be done.

Are there the right mechanisms in place to protect those who speak up? How often do we hear about a whistleblower or someone who speaks up being made redundant a few months later through an organisation-wide restructure? Too often and it’s disgraceful. Have a person charged with overseeing your whistleblower or PID program is essential and their role is to ensure that both the protection and welfare of the person reporting is maintained.

Do those investigating have the right skills, capabilities and independence to do their jobs effectively? How many times do we hear about a personal assistant, the cleaner (joking) or chief executive conducting the investigation themselves? Too often. Last time I checked there aren’t too many PAs or CEOs who have been trained to conduct investigations, interview witnesses and table allegations to those suspected of committing fraud. There should be a clear separation between those charged with looking into an issue and those who will review the outcome and make a determination regarding consequence. Sounds simple I know but you would be surprised how often this doesn’t happen.

Lastly, does the organisation walk the talk when it comes to consequences? Once fraud or misconduct has been proven do they do the right thing and take appropriate action on those found guilty by terminating their employment and where they suspect criminal conduct refer to law enforcement? This is one of the biggest areas where all organisations tend to let themselves down. Too often I hear of examples where companies fail to apply an appropriate outcome, refer the matter to law enforcement and communicate to the rest of the organisation the consequences of committing fraud.

In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, we see our two main characters Lawrence (Caine) and Freddy (Martin) so focused on their own misdeeds that they fail to realise that they have in fact been duped themselves. The parallel here is for those charged with mopping up a fraud or corruption issue. Don’t get so bogged down in the issue and trying to keep it quiet that you miss the bigger opportunity in front of you. Be firm on applying an appropriate consequence for those who commit fraud, be as clear and transparent as you can legally in your communications to the rest of the organisation regarding what has happened and what actions you and the organisation have taken.

It might not seem it at the time, but you have a real opportunity to turn a negative incident into a positive learning opportunity for your organisation.

$165m ATO Scam: When the byline becomes the main story

cranston

The story of the week has to be the massive $165m tax fraud involving the son and daughter of senior ATO employee Michael Cranston, who are facing charges of fraud.

As details emerge regarding the extent of the scam, the cash and assets seized (including 2 planes can you believe it???) the scam itself is now no longer the main story.

The main story now centres around Michael Cranston himself, the ATO’s Deputy Commissioner, following him being charged with abusing his position as a public official for allegedly trying to access confidential information of an ATO audit into his son, Adam. To read more about the story click here

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been quick to say that there is no suggestion that Michael Cranston was involved in the $165m scam, or that he had any knowledge of it. That may be true. Whether that remains the case as the investigation continues and more information is uncovered I guess only time will tell, but this incident serves as a reminder to all of us.

A reminder about the importance of remaining vigilant within your organisation when it comes to fraud, corruption and integrity. Even the most mature and robust organisations face incidents of fraud, corruption and impropriety – it’s just a fact of life and a part of doing business. Protecting your reputation, your people and your bottom line is not a fixed target. Successful organisations continually assess, monitor and strengthen their internal policies, processes and education to minimise the incidence and impact fraud and integrity issues can have on them.

It’s also a reminder of what can happen to even the most honest and trusted person when the right set of circumstances collide. When it comes to fraud and white collar crime, we often talk about the Fraud Triangle, a theory developed by Donald Cressey in the early 1970’s, where Cressey theorised that for an ‘ordinary person’ to commit fraud three factors needed to be present:

  1. Pressure – this is what motivates the person to commit fraud or an integrity breach. They have an unshareable pressure or situation that they can’t resolve legitimately.
  2. Opportunity – person has access to information, systems or money by virtue of their role and breach the trust placed in them by the organisation, their peers and society.
  3. Rationalisation – the person doesn’t see themselves as a criminal or a bad person, but rather someone caught in a predicament or a short-term crisis. They rationalise their behaviour to justify to themselves their actions – “I will pay the money backnext week…”

I am not sure what constitutes an ‘ordinary person’ these days but I think Cressey was saying those of us that aren’t career criminals.

No matter how high your position, how experienced you are, how much training you receive during your career, we need to keep in mind that everybody is susceptible to committing fraud and corruption. Yes, everybody.

Given the right set of circumstances we are all susceptible to being compromised. Some reading this might say “rubbish, I would never do something like that!” And I hope you are right. What is probably more accurate is that you have never had to consider doing something improper because you haven’t had a pressure in your life so great that you couldn’t share it with others due to embarrassment and couldn’t seek advice or assistance to resolve it. You haven’t felt trapped with no way out.

We don’t know why Michael Cranston did what he did, if he in fact did what is being alleged of him and if so, what factors existed that might explain his actions. Like all of us, he deserves the presumption of innocence as this matter plays out.

But the lesson here is that organisations can never rest on their laurels. Protecting your organisation is not a set destination, it’s an ongoing journey. Top organisations know this and continuously invest in strengthening their policies, assessing their risks, tightening their internal controls and educating their people. Risks change over time, so too should your organisation.

I feel for the good folks who work at the ATO right now. I’ve dealt with a few of them during my various roles over the years and I know first hand the organisation is solid and is committed to being ethical and stamping out tax fraud.

The ATO employs approximately 20,000 people across Australia. This week we are talking about three of their employees. Spare a thought for the other 20,000 or so who do the right thing, come to work everyday and give their all but because of the actions of a small few they are all being tarnished this week.