Tip-offs and Public Interest Disclosures
Processes are in place to enable and support staff or external parties to lodge tip-offs or Public Interest Disclosures.
Some examples of this type of countermeasure include:
- Individuals and third parties can lodge a fraud tip-off via a dedicated reporting line.
- Staff can lodge a fraud tip-off via a dedicated reporting line.
- Individuals and third parties can lodge a fraud tip-off via an online form through the external website.
- Staff can lodge a fraud tip-off via an online form via the internal intranet.
- Public officials or other individuals who suspect wrongdoing within the Commonwealth public sector can lodge a Public Interest Disclosure.
Purpose of this countermeasure
Someone can act dishonestly, provide false or misleading information, or fail to disclose information to commit fraud. Additionally, public officials can abuse their position of trust to commit fraud or act corruptly.
Acting dishonestly or abuse of public office are offences under the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Not providing discreet and confidential ways for staff or external parties to report fraud and corruption can lead to:
- fraud and corruption going unreported, and
- a dysfunctional workplace culture.
Fraudsters will be less deterred from committing fraud and can take advantage of the weakness to avoid exposure.
This type of control is supported by:
- Positive workplace culture
- Governance, accountability and oversight
- Collaboration with strategic partners
- Legislation or Policy
- A specific form, process or system must be used
- Sensitive information controls
- Data protected from manipulation or misuse
- Staff are trained and supported to identify and report fraud and corruption
How do I know if my countermeasures are effective?
You can apply the following methods to measure the effectiveness of these types of countermeasures:
- Analyse data related to tip-offs. Look for trends, etc.
- Confirm that a consistent process exists for reporting fraud and corruption.
- Confirm that the process for reporting fraud and corruption is easy to locate and use.
- Confirm the options for reporting fraud and corruption are clearly communicated, e.g. a dedicated phone number is provided.
- Consider if the process supports the person reporting fraud and corruption, e.g. confirm compliance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.
- Analyse case studies to determine if processes are effective.
- Review unsuccessful tip-offs, i.e. those that did not provide anything useful, and analyse why that was the case.
- Confirm that processes cater for all different types of fraud and corruption.
- Confirm that processes cater for different sources, e.g. external individuals, staff, vendors, other organisations etc.