Preventing Fraud in DSS

The Department has adopted the definition of fraud as outlined within the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines (2011).  Fraud is defined as 'dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing a loss by deception or other means'. This definition includes fraud committed by departmental staff, contractors, third party grant recipients or funding recipients. It covers:

  • theft;
  • causing a loss, or avoiding or creating a liability by deception;
  • providing false or misleading information to the Commonwealth, or failing to provide information where there is an obligation to do so;
  • making, using or possessing forged or falsified documents;
  • bribery, corruption or abuse of office;
  • unlawful use of Commonwealth computers, vehicles, telephones and other property or services;
  • relevant bankruptcy offences; and
  • any offences of a like nature to those listed above.

The benefits referred to can be either tangible or intangible. Examples include:

  • hacking into, or interfering with a Commonwealth computer system;
  • using a false identity to obtain grants or other payments;
  • using Commonwealth systems to gain access to other systems without authority; and
  • charging the Commonwealth for goods or services that are incomplete or not delivered.

Contractors and funding recipients should familiarise themselves with the Department's Fraud Control Policy Statement which also underpins their respective fraud and risk minimisation responsibilities when dealing with the Department. A key responsibility is to report all suspected fraud within DSS.

The Department aims to reflect best practice in identifying and controlling fraud risks. This will be achieved by:

  • actively preventing, detecting and investigating fraud;
  • protecting and promoting the proper use of Australian Government property (Property includes money, and anything animate or inanimate capable of being the subject of ownership);
  • referring offenders to appropriate agencies where necessary;
  • seeking civil, administrative or disciplinary sanctions where appropriate;
  • recovering proceeds of fraudulent activity;
  • being accountable and reporting to the Australian Government;
  • maintaining and improving appropriate fraud control standards;
  • training our employees in ethical management, privacy and fraud awareness issues;
  • assuring confidentiality with regard to receiving and handling allegations; and
  • ensuring those engaged in fraud investigation and control activities have the required specialised training.

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