THE Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) today launched its Ethics Helpdesk and Website launch which will be a tool availed to the public, stakeholders as well as employees to blow the whistle on fraudulent activities.
The launch comes a few days after two of the fund’s employees appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate court on a fraud charge involving N$17,8 million, an act, the CEO of fund, David Nujoma described as a ‘stab in the back’.
The two employees of the fund, Martin Eugen Smith (34) and Fabiola Shirley Aoses (44) were both denied bail and are said to have worked within the funds payments system.
This is however not the first time; the fund has been exposed to fraudulent activities, in the year 2019, auditor general Junias Kandjeke stated that no one would be held accountable for the N$600 million allegedly lost from the public servants pension fund after some loan beneficiaries of the fund did not pay back money they had borrowed.
During the occasion of the Ethics help desk launch, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of GIPF, Nillian Mulemi stated the two employees who were recently arrested stole the millions via collusion as well as circumventing the internal controls of the fund.
“This launch is particularly significant as the Fund is currently investigating an unfortunate incident of breach of our internal financial controls by some of our staff members entrusted with managing our electronic payment system. Without this platform, we resort to all other options such as approaching newspapers, corridor talk and social media to voice wrongdoings and any irregular activities carried out against the Fund. This in turn does not help the cause because it results in reputational infringement on the part of the Fund, while the culprit or culprits for that matter are hardly made accountable for their conduct,” Mulemi said.
Also adding to the subject, the CEO, Nujoma noted the GIPF with a membership of over 145 000 members, retirees, and annuitants and with an asset value of over N$140 billion, the whistle blower platform launch signifies the fight against corruption as a critical component in guarding and growing member benefits for their greater good.
He added that members, GIPF staff and the public can rest assured that the Helpdesk is managed by an independent service provider that offers secure and anonymous reporting.
No telephone/mobile number or email address is required. The service is separate from GIPF’s environment and does not track IP addresses or other data that could identify a whistle-blower.
The Ethics Helpdesk offers the following options to blow the whistle: completing an online form; submitting a report via an anonymous WhatsApp line; submitting a report via an anonymous Telegram line; speaking to an artificial intelligence robot; or – speaking to an agent (an actual person).
The ethics helpdesk can be accessed via https://www.gipf.com.na