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 Positive workplace culture

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Summary

A positive workplace culture can encourage ethical and supportive behaviours, while discouraging fraudulent or corrupt activities. Staff will be less able to rationalise fraudulent or corrupt conduct where a positive workplace culture exists.

Examples

Some examples of this type of countermeasure include:

  • Reward and recognition programs
  • Health and wellbeing training and initiatives
  • Promoting an inclusive and supportive workplace culture
  • Training and promoting ethical conduct and decision-making
  • Open and transparent communication and decision-making

Purpose of this countermeasure

Public officials, contractors or third parties can abuse their position of trust to commit fraud or act corruptly. 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.

A dysfunctional organisational culture can contribute to an individual's ability to rationalise corrupt or unethical behaviour; a culture built on honesty, transparency and integrity are key organisational strengths that can serve to reduce the risk of fraud.

If weak controls are the fuel, culture is the spark that ignites fraud and corruption.

A dysfunctional culture can lead to or arise from:

  • Perverse incentives
  • Win at all costs attitudes
  • Tolerance to cutting corners or workarounds
  • Bullying behaviour
  • Indoctrination – staff coerced to 'get on board with the program'
  • Demoralised or resentful staff.

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:

  • Undertake a staff census include focused questions relating to workplace culture. Commonwealth entities can review APSC Census results.
  • Undertake regular interviews of staff.
  • Complete quantitative and trend analysis of incidences of bullying and harassment, compensation, fraud and misconduct.
  • Complete a qualitative review of substantiated fraud and misconduct investigations.
  • Review completion rates of relevant courses, such as ethics training.
  • Analyse rates of staff turnover.

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