10. How to Report Fraud

The department accepts reports of suspected fraud from internal and external parties. The department ensures the confidentiality of the information received from any party wishing to report a suspected case of fraud.

10.1 Fraud Reports from Internal Parties

All staff are expected to play a part in the identification and reporting of instances or events of suspected fraud. Allegations or suspicions of fraudulent activity must be reported to the FCO. A report can be made in person, in writing, by email or telephone.

Details of the department’s fraud hotline, and other means by which fraud can be reported is part of both on-line and face-to-face fraud awareness training provided to staff, as well as being contained within both intranet and internet pages for the department accessible for people external to the department to ensure that reports of fraud can be appropriately made. The FCO can be contacted by:

Phoning the department’s Fraud Control Hotline on: 02 6213 6376.

Email: fraudcontrolofficer@industry.gov.au.

Staff and managers are to be guided by the advice of the FCO and are to refrain from any action which might contaminate potential evidence or jeopardise the success of an investigation.

The FCO has the authority to provide confidential and independent advice to staff in relation to suspected fraud and may also advise and assist management where a concern has arisen.

The FCO will also be responsible for maintaining an appropriate recording, reporting and analysis system to ensure that all instances of suspected fraud are satisfactorily resolved.

The information provided to the FCO should include:

  • details and dates of the suspected offence
  • details of any staff involved (name and location)
  • the value of the alleged fraudulent or improper conduct
  • details of any clients or outside parties involved (name, description and address), and
  • potential sources of additional information about the matter in question, such as people and files.

All reported incidents are recorded and documented in accordance with Commonwealth requirements.

Fraud reporting information is also available on the department’s intranet and internet.

10.2 Fraud Reports from External Parties

Allegations of fraud by recipients of funding administered by the department, or allegations of unlawful conduct by staff of this Department (or its contractors) can be made in writing and posted or e-mailed to the FCO. Reports can also be made by telephone. The FCO can be contacted by:

Phoning the department’s Fraud Control Hotline on: 02 6213 6376.

Email: fraudcontrolofficer@industry.gov.au.

Postal address:
Fraud Control Officer
Department of Industry
GPO Box 2013
Canberra ACT 2601

Information on how to report fraud is available on the department’s internet.

10.3 What to Expect When You Report Fraud

The department takes all allegations of fraud seriously. Information is assessed and, where appropriate, will be investigated. Should informants choose to provide personal details when making an allegation, an investigator may be in contact to obtain further information. They should also be aware they may be asked to provide a witness statement and give evidence in court.

Due to privacy restrictions and the integrity of the investigative process, you may not be provided with information regarding the progress of the investigation. Similarly, unless you agree to provide a statement and attend court, the fact that you have made the complaint will not be divulged by investigators.

10.4 Protection of Employees Reporting Suspected Fraud

The department will, in accordance with relevant policies and procedures, protect any person who has made an allegation against another member of staff or against an external party whether the allegation has been made with full disclosure of the informant’s identity or anonymously.

10.5 Public Interest Disclosure

The Public Interest Disclosure (PID) scheme, established by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013, came into effect on 15 January 2014. The PID scheme replaces the former whistleblowing provisions within the Public Service Act 1999 and provides a new legislative framework for the disclosure and investigation of serious wrongdoing within the Commonwealth public sector.

The PID scheme does not replace the other avenues available for the reporting of suspected wrongdoing within the department (such as reporting to a Fraud Control Officer or action under the department’s Code of Conduct procedures) but instead the PID scheme supplements these.

All Departmental staff and contractors are encouraged to report suspected wrongdoing within the workplace utilising our existing mechanisms and PID scheme where applicable. The department is committed to ensuring that suspected wrongdoing covered by the PID scheme, such as corruption, breaches of law and maladministration, is appropriately investigated and addressed. The department is also committed to ensuring that those individuals who make disclosures under the PID scheme are supported and protected from reprisals.

The types of matters that would be dealt with under these procedures include:

  • breaches of the code of conduct;
  • fraud or other criminal behaviour;
  • substantial waste, misuse or mismanagement of the agency’s resources; or
  • practices resulting in danger to public health or safety.

All reported breaches will be investigated promptly unless they are considered to be frivolous or vexatious. Investigations will comply with the process outlined in the Code of Conduct Policy where procedural fairness and natural justice principles are paramount. Findings of any investigation will be dealt with as soon as practicable.

The department has established a PID Procedure which outlines the way in which the PID scheme will operate within the department. The PID Procedure is available via Corporate Services.

10.6 Anonymity

The department accepts anonymous reports of suspected fraud. Informants are not required to provide contact details if they do not wish to do so.

10.7 Privacy

Personal information is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Any personal information collected will only be used for the purposes connected to the investigation of the allegation.

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