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 Governance, accountability and oversight

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Summary

Governance, accountability and oversight exists over processes, decision-making and risk; e.g. committees and project boards oversee critical decisions and risk.

Examples

Some examples of this type of countermeasure include:

  • Programme/project reporting requirements and governance arrangements to ensure transparency and accountability
  • Executive boards and committees oversee operations and make decisions
  • Clearly defined accountabilities and responsibilities
  • Clear reporting lines and accountability for programme/project performance and risk
  • Risk management plans and regular risk reporting

Purpose of this countermeasure

A lack of good governance, accountability and oversight can:

  • lead to dysfunctional and obscure processes,
  • cloud the visibility of fraud and corruption risks, and
  • inhibit the action needed to prevent, detect and respond to fraud and corruption.

Public officials or contractors can take advantage of this environment to abuse their position of trust to act corruptly, commit fraud and avoid exposure. They can also be coerced to commit fraud for the benefit of another person or entity, e.g. coerced to provide information or pay a claim.

Abuse of public office, acting dishonestly or influencing a Commonwealth public official to commit fraud are offences under the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Good governance, accountability and oversight increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.

Dependencies

This type of control is supported by:

How do I know if my countermeasures are effective?

You can apply the following methods to measure the effectiveness of these types of countermeasures:

  • Review governance structures to confirm clear reporting lines and accountability for programme/project performance and risk.
  • Confirm executive oversight exists for critical processes and decision-making.
  • Confirm that risk management plans or fraud risk assessments have been completed. Confirm these are monitored and reported to appropriate officials.
  • Confirm who is accountable for managing the identified fraud risks.
  • Identify how governance structure requirements and responsibilities are communicated.
  • Undertake a staff census and particularly ask questions relevant to strategic direction and executive engagement. Commonwealth entities can review APSC Census results.

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