The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) hosted a two -  day workshop under the theme, ‘Fraud Awareness - Moving Towards Sustainable Funding’. The virtual workshops held from the 2nd - 3rd November 2021 targeted Levy Payers as well as Special Groups who claim from the Human Resource Development (HRD) Fund. The purpose of the workshop was to sensitise Stakeholders on Fraud. The workshop was conducted in collaboration with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

Presenting the welcome remarks at the virtual workshop the Director Funding, HRDC Mr Mothusi Masole highlighted that, HRDC as administrators of the HRD Fund, we are faced with a number of challenges and as such fraud remains a thorny issue usually affecting our processes as we are often compelled to now institute investigations and attend to litigations which therefore inhibits HRDC from productively discharging its administrative duties. Some scholars define fraud as the unlawful and intentional misrepresentation with intent to deceive by causing actual or potential prejudice to another.’’

This therefore calls for concerted efforts to perform our roles truthfully and diligently so that together we move towards building a work force that is globally competitive. HRDC is mandated to plan and fund tertiary education and workplace learning. This process should start with the development of work skills plans for a training that is well structured and positioned to close the skills needs not only in the specific workplace but also in that particular industry as a whole.

Workshops have been held in the past to address requirements of the Fund. HRDC advocates for the acquisition of industry relevant skills particularly owing to  the ever changing business environment. This noble intention may not be realised if fraud is not addressed timeously as it challenges the sustainability of the HRD Fund.The primary focus of the HRD Fund is to support human capital development to ensure Botswana’s workforce is globally competitive.

To ensure that the HRD Fund is accessible and inclusive, HRDC is currently reviewing the HRDC Act of 2013 as well as other legislative instruments. These enhancements will improve fund utilisation. Other developments include the procuring of a management information system that will automate all processes including promoting and funding of workplace learning. The system will give clients a one-stop-shop from submission of work skills plans until payment of claims in a more effective and timely manner.

Presenting on Fraud Awareness for Levy Payers the Chief Executive Officer of , eDetectives, Mr Douglas Sekgweng highlighted that, ‘’HRDC through investigations, has recorded a concerning number of eight (8) cases of alleged fraud cases between 2020-2021. One of the cases was up to the tune of P2.458m. In some cases, levy payers connive with ETPs to defraud the HRD Fund.  Fraud is evidenced through falsified documents, such as wrong certificates, false attendance registers, false invoices forged signatures, submission of untrained people or non-employees, done in order to claim for higher amounts. Within these schemes use of sensitive personal data without consent of data owners sets in the picture as it is done in order to meet the HRD Fund requirements.’’

It is important to indicate that when a levy payer is found guilty of fraud, action will be taken in line with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Fund Regulations and the HRDC Act provisions. HRDC has the duty to take all the steps necessary to prevent fraud regardless of the perpetrator. In conclusion Levy payers were encouraged to take full responsibility of the authenticity of their applications for reimbursement or risk prosecution for all fraudulent claims submitted to HRDC. It was emphasised that all stakeholders should be truthful or honest so that the Fund is preserved and that together we build the desired human capital for the industry and the country.

News Date: 
Tuesday, November 2, 2021