Tamkeen to launch new fraud prevention unit
Manama, August 14, 2014
A new fraud prevention department for Tamkeen will be launched next month in a bid to safeguard its multimillion dinar budget.
The semi-autonomous labour fund, which opened its newest office in Enma Mall, Riffa yesterday (August 13), is currently piloting a new anti-fraud division before the planned official launch at the end of next month, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Chairman and acting chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa told the GDN that the move would help protect the organisation's BD80 million ($210.9 million) in total programme expenditure that it is expected to handle this year alone.
"Tamkeen spends more than BD70 million on the private sector a year, so we have to make sure that it is spent in the right manner," he said.
"We have our own audit and check on our own internal operations, but we need to deal with people externally who take advantage of programmes and abuse them - we have to fight it better."
Speaking at the opening of the new Riffa office, Shaikh Mohammed said the anti-fraud department was part of a revamped plan for the training organisation that would also see two more satellite offices opened in the coming months.
"The old system is not defective, but needs to be modified," he said.
"We looked at the economy and where things were going and did a sector-by-sector analysis.
"We looked at the previous strategy and identified what had worked and what had not.
"One of the ideas we had was to establish a fraud prevention department - to make sure that the programmes and money are being used correctly."
By overhauling the grant application process to make it more flexible and meet the needs of individual clients, Shaikh Mohammed hopes Tamkeen can filter out any abuse of its systems that could come from having a "one-size fits all" approach.
"The objective is to be more flexible and to provide customers with services in a better way," he said.
"But at the same time, the company that has applied for a grant must have a growth plan - it is not just about filling out an application form and getting automatic support.
"If there is a plan then we will support them, but with no plan we will not.
"It is a subjective answer - the system will be harder to abuse but hopefully it will be more flexible and easier for those with ambition."
Other planned changes to the way Tamkeen operates are not only administrative but will also incorporate customer relations and productivity elements, according to customer engagement and support representative Yousif Ali.
"There are changes touching everything we do, such as how we serve customers - as you can see with the new offices, we never had this before," he said.
"We are going to receive applications directly and there will be no third party doing that.
"Even how we evaluate applications and maintain contact with customers is going to change.
"Businesses with high potential will be assigned a specific contact person in Tamkeen who will maintain the relationship with you, whereas before this was not the case."
Shaikh Mohammed concluded by saying it was "all about customer service".
"We have a host of programmes coming out in the next four to six weeks - including the opening of the two branches," he said.
"We are also re-opening one of our big programmes to support companies called enterprise support, which in the past has provided grants but this time in a new format." - TradeArabia News Service