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Tuesday, 15 August 1989
Page: 96

(Question No. 1078)

Senator Newman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 16 June 1989:

With reference to the Report of the Special Minister of State's Review of Systems for dealing with Fraud on the Commonwealth, March 1987-

(1) Has the Department made an assessment of the risk of fraud against its program, if so, when was it completed and have the results been reported to the Minister.

(2) What new plans for fraud control have now been put in place in the Department.

(3) If new arrangements have been made for fraud control, has the Minister consulted with, or advised other ministers on the anticipated impact of these arrangements on agencies under their control.

(4) Has the Department considered the use of administrative remedies to deal with minor instances of fraud; if so, what are they and will they require new legislation.

(5) Has the Department maintained appropriate records in relation to fraud to show the nature and outcome of activities to prevent and detect fraud, the allocation of resources to deal with fraud, and the extent of reliance on services provided by other agencies when dealing with fraud.

(6) In relation to (5), have these records been provided to the minister responsible for co-ordinating anti-fraud measures; if so have they been analysed to establish whether further Cabinet consideration is required.

(7) If further Cabinet consideration is required, have any recommendations been provided to Cabinet.

(8) Is the Department providing appropriate training to staff in the prevention, identification and protection of fraud; if so, what is the nature of this training; is the AFP, DPP or AGS involved by way of personnel, or advice.

Senator Richardson —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Department's Fraud Risk Assessment was completed in October 1988 and was endorsed by the Minister for Defence.

(2) The Department's Fraud Control plan is almost completed. The Plan is a comprehensive document and is an important element in the Fraud Awareness Campaign within Defence which commenced earlier this financial year.

(3) Arrangements have been agreed between the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Justice for the attachment of two members of the Australian Federal Police to Defence. No other portfolios are affected.

(4) Extant instructions which provide the Services and the Department with administrative remedies for dealing with minor instances of fraud, are considered adequate. These instructions, which stem from provisions in the Public Service Act, the Defence Force Discipline Act, and Part 12A of the Audit Act, allow such offences to be dealt with by a variety of measures including formal administrative warnings, pecuniary penalties, demotions and forfeiture of entitlements. New legislation is not required.

(5) As part of initiatives to be adopted under the Defence Fraud Control Plan, appropriate records will be maintained to assess the performance of measures to prevent and detect fraud. Records exist which identify resources dealing with fraud and the extent of Defence's reliance on other agencies.

(6) No.

(7) Not applicable.

(8) Arrangements have been agreed for selected Defence staff to attend investigator training courses conducted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.