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 Communicating identified fraud incidents

Fraud can occur in any entity, irrespective of the strength of fraud countermeasures in place. Although entities may have some discomfort in communicating fraud has occurred, communication of fraud incidents can assist in preventing future fraud. Entities should not feel that they have failed when fraud is detected, as in some circumstances, detecting fraud shows that the fraud control system is working.

Increasing awareness of the high likelihood of getting caught is an effective deterrent to economic crimes such as fraud; it demonstrates the risk of obtaining rewards through dishonest behaviour. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions acknowledges that increased publicity of prosecution can have a deterrent effect (see Prosecution Policy, Section 6.12(f)).

The diagram below outlines the benefits that may arise from providing de-identified information to officials and customers on fraud detected and subsequent action taken.

 Grey middle circle - Communicating and reporting identified fraud. Yellow top circle - Acts as a deterrent to others. Orange right top middle circle - Demonstrates disciplinary action is taken against those found guilty of committing fraud. Green right bottom middle circle - Maintains public confidence that fraud is a serious matter and will be handled accordingly. Mint green bottom circle - Encourages further reporting of suspected fraud. Aqua left bottom middle circle - Illustrates contemporary ethical issues and can inform fraud awareness programs. Blue top middle circle - Demonstrates the agency's commitment to an ethical culture.
 

Entities with a significant number of fraud cases may use a communication strategy to plan the reporting of various types of fraud, to assist with targeting information to the relevant audience. 

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