Education Opinion

Update to ‘HR Can Help Detect and Prevent Fraud’

By Emily Douglas-McNab — May 07, 2012 1 min read
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On April 26, 2012, I posted a blog entry titled “HR Can Help Detect and Prevent Fraud” that discussed how HR departments and other school district leaders could create processes and policies to prevent fraud using resources from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and similar professional organizations. I explained that while cases of fraud in business often get much of the attention, school districts are not exempt from this crime.

As an example, I referenced a past incident in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) where the district lost millions of dollars by accidentally paying fraudulent invoices. The story was profiled in a 2009 District Administration article called “Fighting Fraud in Schools: Lax Controls Open Doors to Crimes.” I choose to mention Wake County’s story because I felt that the way the district handled the issue was at the height of best practice for any organization. However, it was brought to my attention that my shorthand description could be misinterpreted to imply that Wake County and the district’s Chief Business Officer, David Neter, who was hired after the scandal, handled the situation poorly.

I want to make all readers aware that a correction has been added to my April 26 blog post. I also want to extend my apologies to Wake County Public Schools and Mr. Neter for any mischaracterization of their actions.

Here is more of their story. After Wake County was victimized by fraud in the 2004-05 school year, the local school board created a new position to increase fiscal transparency and accountability. They hired Mr. Neter, a seasoned business professional and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Duke University. Mr. Neter remains the Chief Business Officer at WCPSS and has worked with district employees, the superintendent, and the board to ensure world-class fraud prevention.

I plan to follow up with a post later this summer on best practices in preventing fraud that highlights the actions taken by Wake County and Mr. Neter. In the meantime, if you have questions or know of any great free Internet resources on fraud prevention, please let me know.

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