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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 199

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science: Instances of Fraud or Theft

(Question No. 1767)

Mr Conroy asked the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, in writing, on 10 November 2015:

Were there any instances of fraud or theft detected by the department from (a) internal sources, or (b) external sources, that resulted in a cost of the department in 2014-15; if so, (i) what fraud or theft took place, (ii) when did the fraud or theft take place, (iii) what was the cost to the department of this fraud or theft, and (iv) what is being done to prevent the fraud or theft occurring again.

Mr Pyne: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The department investigated 52 reports of suspected fraud during 2014-15. 46 reports were received from external sources and six reports received from an internal source. Fourteen reports were transferred from the department as a result of Machinery of Government changes. Of the remaining fraud matters investigated, none resulted in a monetary cost to the department.

During 2014-15 the department investigated one matter relating to the suspected theft of a card scanner. The asset was not located and its loss is estimated to have cost the department $200.

The department has an effective governance structure for the administration of the fraud control arrangements, with clear reporting guidelines and mechanisms for reporting suspected fraud. There is an emphasis on prevention strategies in the management of fraud risk in the department.

Guidance on prevention, detection and reporting of fraud and theft is provided to all staff in the department.

Face-to-face fraud awareness training, security and fraud awareness online modules were made available to all staff and contractors throughout 2014-15. Where appropriate, fraud awareness presentations were also delivered to external service providers by subject-matter experts. As at 30 June 2015, 2,457 staff and contractors had completed face-to-face fraud awareness training. To prevent theft in the workplace staff are also regularly reminded of their requirement to adhere to the clear desk policy and to report security incidents and suspected fraud.

The department undertakes fraud risk assessments every two years and regularly assesses and monitors fraud risk. The department has a current Fraud Control Plan and Fraud Risk Assessment.