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Fraud control

Fraud and Corruption Control in DFAT

Fraud and Corruption Policy Statement

DFAT does not tolerate inaction on fraud and corruption. This means DFAT will take all steps necessary to prevent, detect and respond to fraud and corruption relating to the department, specifically:

  • Requiring all DFAT staff and delivery partners to uphold their respective codes of conduct and comply with their contractual obligations, where applicable.
  • Promoting awareness of the risks of fraud and corruption.
  • Encouraging the timely reporting of suspected fraud and corruption.
  • Assessing and, where appropriate, investigating all allegations of fraud and corruption.
  • Referring matters to appropriate authorities, including the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and law enforcement where appropriate.
  • Applying appropriate sanctions and penalties, including prosecution.
  • Seeking to recover losses caused by illegal activity through proceeds of crime and civil recovery.

DFAT requires all DFAT staff and delivery partners to report suspected fraud and corrupt behaviour. DFAT values proactive reporting and transparency with zero tolerance for inaction, as well as zero tolerance for reprisals against reporting officers.

What is fraud?

In accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework fraud is defined as:

  • Dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means. In this definition, ‘benefit' refers to both tangible items, such as money or objects, and intangible benefits including power, status or information.

This definition is based on the fraudulent conduct offences under part 7.3 of the Criminal Code, in addition to other relevant offences under chapter 7 of th Criminal Code.

What is corruption?

Corruption in the Commonwealth environment is defined as:

  • ‘Corrupt conduct' is any conduct that adversely affects, or could adversely affect, the honest or impartial exercise or performance of a public official's powers, functions, or duties
  • Corruption can involve a public official breaching public trust, abusing their office or misusing official information
  • it can also involve any person who does something that might cause a public official to act dishonestly or in a biased way.

This definition is based on the definition of corrupt conduct in the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022.

Fraud and corruption prevention – who is responsible?

Fraud and corruption prevention is the responsibility of all DFAT staff and delivery partners associated with the delivery of DFAT's services and outcomes. This includes:

  • Australian Public Service (APS) staff
  • secondees to DFAT
  • locally engaged staff (LES), including LES of other Commonwealth agencies at DFAT premises overseas
  • statutory officers
  • contractors (including their sub-contractors), grant partners (including their sub-grantees and subcontractors) and other delivery partners including multilateral and regional partners, when delivering goods or services for DFAT.

APS staff must ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, with respect to fraud and corruption prevention, detection and reporting, and locally engaged staff at overseas posts must ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the LES Code of Conduct.

All DFAT staff and delivery partners associated with the delivery of DFAT's services and outcomes must comply with relevant DFAT policies, including to ensure they understand what fraud and corruption is, that inaction on these issues will not be tolerated, what their key responsibilities are, and where to find further information.

All have an essential part in reducing the department's exposure to fraudulent and corrupt activity by behaving in an ethical way, and promptly reporting any incidents of suspected fraud or corruption, ensuring fraud and corruption risks are managed and fraud and corrupt conduct is detected.

Reporting fraud and corruption

The department takes all allegations of fraud and corruption seriously and handles all allegations in a confidential, prompt and professional manner.

Members of the Public:

Members of the public can report suspected or detected fraud and/or corruption using the Fraud and Corruption Reporting for Members of the Public [DOCX 204 KB].

Alternatively, you can provide information by emailing the relevant area below:

Who could be involved in the fraud or corruption? Where to report:
DFAT staff, including LES staff Employee Conduct and Ethics Section conduct@dfat.gov.au
Passports Passport Fraud and Compliance Section passports.fraud@dfat.gov.au
All other areas, including DFAT partners, contractors, and subcontractors Counter Fraud and Anti-Corruption Section  fraud.corruption@dfat.gov.au

 

Not sure what type of fraud or corruption it is? Contact us:
Email: fraud.corruption@dfat.gov.au

 

By Post:
Counter Fraud and Anti-Corruption Section Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building,

John McEwen Crescent

BARTON ACT 0221

 

 

DFAT staff and delivery partners:

Departmental staff, including contractors and implementing partners can report suspected or detected fraud and/or corruption using the more detailed Suspected or Detected Fraud and Corruption – Fraud Referral Form

Please send the completed form to fraud.corruption@dfat.gov.au

What information should I report?

The more information and specific details you can provide about the allegation, the easier it will be for us to assess.

Reports can be made anonymously, and there are protections in place for whistle-blowers and anyone reporting corrupt conduct.

You are encouraged to provide the following:

  • Who is involved? Include as much detail as you can such as the name of the person or organisation, addresses and phone numbers.
  • What fraud or corruption you think has occurred. Include how, when and where it occurred.
  • Your contact details (optional).

What will happen next?

Your information will be assessed and, where appropriate, investigated. The department will endeavour to reply to your allegations; however, feedback may not always be provided.

Protection against reprisals

DFAT values proactive reporting and transparency, with zero tolerance for reprisals against reporting officers.

People who report fraud and corruption are afforded protections against reprisals when making a disclosure under the PID Act or reporting suspected corruption under the NACC Act.

DFAT takes every allegation of reprisal seriously, and procedures are in place to ensure allegations of reprisals are recorded and responded to appropriately.  If any person who makes a fraud or corruption related disclosure considers they have been victimised, discriminated against, or otherwise adversely affected because of the disclosure (or suspected or planned disclosure), this can be reported through the Counter Fraud and Anti-Corruption Section (fraud.corruption@dfat.gov.au) or through DFAT's Public Interest Disclosure procedures (PID@dfat.gov.au).

Privacy

All reports are managed in accordance with DFAT's Fraud, Corruption and Corrupt Conduct Privacy Notice, DFAT's Privacy Policy and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

If you report an allegation of fraud, corruption or corrupt conduct, you consent to your personal information (including any sensitive information), and any personal information of third parties contained in your allegation, being managed in accordance with DFAT's Fraud, Corruption and Corrupt Conduct Privacy Notice.

DFAT maintains appropriate systems to securely store, record, report and analyse allegations of fraud, corruption or corrupt conduct to ensure appropriate response and satisfactory resolution.

Fraud control toolkit for funding recipients

DFAT has robust systems and procedures in place to protect public money and property from fraud and corruption. DFAT's partner organisations (funding recipients) also play a critical role in minimising exposure of Australian funding to fraud and corruption. This Fraud Control Toolkit for Funding Recipients articulates DFAT's requirements and expectations it has of its partners who manage and deliver programs and projects on behalf of DFAT.

Fraud control toolkit for funding recipients

Other resources and information

Refer to NACC website for corruption: Prevention and education resources

Refer to AGD fact sheets on corruption: NACC downloadable resources

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