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One step ahead of fraudsters.

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Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Senator for South Australia



Monday 28 June 1999




Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today released a draft of the Federal Government’s new fraud control policy at a lunchtime address to the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Canberra.


“Fraud costs the Australian community dearly, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, between $3 to $3.5 billion a year, compared to the estimated $2billion dollar cost of drug offences and $323 million cost of homicides,” senator Vanstone said.


“These figures highlights the extent of the fraud problem. The Federal Government is taking action. We are up-dating our fraud control policy to ensure that we stay at least one step ahead of fraudsters.


“Fraud surveys consistently find that the overwhelming majority of companies believe that fraud will increase in the future.


“Though fraud is as old as commerce and government, like a mutant virus, it may take entirely new forms over the next decade. Digital technology and the use of the Internet to do business are changing fraud vulnerabilities and risks.


“The Federal Government’s fraud control policy is based on prevention, through risk management, the training of staff and vigorous investigation and prosecution of offenders.


“The draft policy up-dates the Federal Government’s fraud policy in the key areas of prevention and risk management, reporting, and education.


“The new policy emphasises the importance of all staff engaged in fraud control, including contractors, attaining fraud prevention detection and investigation competencies. The draft policy identifies a deadline for staff attaining these competencies.


“Fraud prevention has been enhanced by giving agencies increased flexibility to manage risk in accordance with their own assessment of their needs.


“Fraud reporting requirements have undergone a major revision. The revised policy clarifies reporting responsibilities, and requires agencies to provide information on fraud incidents and suspected fraud incidents, the outcomes of investigations, resources devoted to fraud prevention and investigation, and staff training. The policy also requires the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to provide information on their handling of fraud cases.”


“The draft policy reflects the fact that the outsourcing of fraud prevention and investigation activity is an effective option for some agencies, and gives agencies specific guidance in this area.


The current fraud control policy has been in place since 1994. The Minister for Justice and Customs has responsibility for the overall direction of the Federal Government’s fraud control policy, which covers over 130 Commonwealth agencies carrying out a wide range of policy and service delivery functions.


Minister available through Kevin Donnellan 0419 400 078 Copies of the draft fraud control policy can be obtained by e-mailing



rw  1999-06-30  11:13