With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.
– Zig Ziglar
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is INTEGRITY REFERENCE BUREAU?
IRB(Integrity Reference Bureau) is a Crime Prevention Project anchored by Integrity Support Services formed in 2014 in response to demand from the business community in Kenya to fight fraud and enable economic growth. IRB prevents fraud and other crimes by allowing member organizations to share information on employees/suppliers that are fraudsters/Criminal.
What is Employee Fraud?
“Staff Fraud occurs when a member of staff dishonestly makes false representation, or wrongfully fails to disclose information, or abuses a position of trust for personal gain, or causes loss to others”. (CIFAS)
Fraudulent activity perpetrated by members of staff can range from compromising customer or payroll data to straightforward theft or the submission of inflated expenses. Staff fraud can be opportunistic i.e. it can be a completely unplanned attack purely for personal financial gain. However, staff fraud can also be linked to a serious and organised criminal network or terrorist financing.
Why is Criminal/Fraud Registry necessary?
Fraud has been on the rise in the recent past and most businesses now realize that they can no longer play down this threat from within. Employee fraud leads not only to financial loss but also the reputation of the business. While most employees are honest and trustworthy, a few bad apples are causing the biggest threat to a business survival.
Moreover, it is well known that dishonest persons move from employer to employer or client to client and continue their fraudulent activities wherever they go. These registries will allow businesses to share data with each other on incidences fraud within organizations thus minimizing the risk of hiring a criminal.
Is the registry effectively an "blacklist"?
Not at all, the database simply informs the prospective employer or buyer on the conduct of the person they are looking to deal with either employee, client or supplier. Member organisations are urged to consider each profile on a case by case basis and make a judgment call on the suitability of person in question. Besides, many people with serious criminal records successfully obtain employment or work so long as they can persuade the potential organisation that they no longer pose a threat.
What are examples of fraudulent/criminal activities?
Most organisations we consulted sighted the below as the most common;
- Employees who have stolen money from their employer
- Employees who have stolen customer data for personal reasons
- Employees, suppliers, clients who have been involved with organized gangs to rob or steal data causing millions of shillings in losses
- Job applicants who provide forged documents and certificates to support their application
- Distributors/dealers/agents that have acted alone or colluded with employees to defraud the organization.
- Employees offloading some goods before they get them to their designation e.g. fuel, sugar maize etc and selling these goods without authorization.
- Employees carrying unauthorized passengers in company vehicles for a fee.
However, the above list is by no means exhaustive and therefore IRB will continue to work with member organizations to provide industry specific list that will be added to the one above.
What is the information required to file criminals in the registry?
- Suspicions and hearsay must NOT be filed to the database
- The member organization must make a formal complaint to the police and upload details of the OB number as provided by the police station
- The criminal offence must be identifiable
- The information has to be accurate.
- The member organization must have sufficient evidence of wrongdoing
Will employees have to give their consent to be members of IRB? If so, will they have to sign new employment contracts?
It is not a requirement of the data protection act to obtain consent from the employee to be filed as a member of IRB. Therefore, employers do not have to prepare new contracts for the employees to sign. However, the employers will be required to notify the employees that the bureau exists and their details will be stored in it in the event of them committing a crime.
What if an employee resigns before investigations are complete and later confirmed as a fraudster, will the filing still be made in the database?
Yes provided that sufficient proof exists an employer may file the individual even if they are not in their employ at the time of filing.
What will prevent a manager from maliciously filing a case so that the individual is sacked?
Requirements for filing have to be adhered to as mentioned above. Further, participating members will be adequately trained on the code of ethics before using it to file cases to ensure that they take responsibility for the activities of their management.
Can an employee find out what is contained about them in the database?
The employee has a right to request a copy of any information held about him by the Bureau. They however have to follow the procedure outlined and fill out a request form as provided.
Can a member challenge the information contained in the file?
Yes, aggrieved is at liberty to do so by filing a complaint with IRB.
Are Members able to register temporary staff in the Bureau?
Yes the participating members can register temporary and in IRB provided the filing is in line with the laid out procedure. Further, members are urged to give adequate notices to any job advertisements they put up or any tenders or quotations requests.