30 April 2019
The third year of the anti-fraud movement #FraudOff! was launched on Wednesday, 24 April with a discussion about noticing fraudulence and its reporting to the competent authorities. This year the goal of the socially informative campaign is to promote society’s understanding about fraud, shadow economy and other dishonest activities. During the campaign, the emphasis will be put on the necessity to report to the competent authorities cases where dishonest actions have been recognised.
“We are glad that to this date the movement has been able to capture the interest of over 70 cooperation partners of various fields in state administration, private and nongovernmental sector, as well as a part of the society. Nevertheless, we are certain that work must be continued! The characters representing the visual identity of the campaign this year are national symbols of Latvia – the Bear-slayer (Lāčplēsis), the Trumpeter of Tālava (Tālavas taurētājs) and the Folk-maid (Tautumeita) who invite to be observant, brave and not to stay silent about fraudulence that has been experienced or noticed”, informs Nata Lasmane, Head of the Anti-Fraud Coordination Service (AFCOS) of the Ministry of Finance.
At the opening event of the movement #FraudOff!, results of the latest research done by the research centre SKDS were also presented. They confirmed the necessity to inform and encourage Latvian people to report dishonest actions so that together we could diminish them and strive for a better society and country that we live in.
“Within a research cycle of three years we have observed that the society is ready to report and act when fraudulence has a direct personal impact on people or on their close ones. However, there is a rather large part of people who believe that only the competent authorities should work on finding fraud. Such attitude shows that we don’t want to get involved in what happens outside our private space, which is why the topic of reporting definitely is important and needs to be discussed and conveyed to the society”, says Arnis Kaktiņš, Head of the research centre SKDS.
When discussing the importance of reporting in the present-day Latvia, opinions were shared by a social anthropologist, a scientist, a TV producer, and representatives of the State Revenue Service, Food and Veterinary Service, State Chancellery and other state
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administrative bodies. Participants of the discussion were united in the opinion that the culture of reporting, including both open and anonymous reporting, is a significant support in discovering fraudulence and dishonest actions, yet quality of the prepared reports is also relevant.
“In many European Union countries and also in other countries around the world, the economic situation is better than in Latvia because their residents get involved in limiting tax evasion. If anyone is concerned that their neighbour might not be paying taxes, they turn to the competent authorities and report about it. People in our country should also stop being so tolerant towards tax evaders”, the importance of reporting is emphasized by Ieva Jaunzema, Director General of the State Revenue Service.
Within the anti-fraud movement, in the further months everyone will be invited to find out and ascertain what are the situations and issues that they should report about and what institution to report to. Within the campaign, people will not only be encouraged to report but also prepare to the report in good quality so that investigation of each case and prevention of fraudulence would gain as much benefit as possible.
The anti-fraud movement #FraudOff! brings together organisations that care about the fairness in Latvia and are ready to fight for it and to involve the entire society of the country. This is already the third year when an initiative of Latvian law enforcement institutions has been implemented in the period from 2017-2019 in accordance with the AFCOS National Anti-Fraud Strategy – to work together in the prevention area via fighting fraudulence and educating the society.
More information about the campaign and movement is available www.atkrapies.lv or by contacting Ms Ilona Skorobogatova, AFCOS Latvia representative (+371 6709 55 38 or Ilona.Skorobogatova@fm.gov.lv).