‘Good fraud control practices are critical for councils and the community’

The NSW audit office recently published a report based on survey findings determining that 63% of participating local councils (83) have no fraud control plans or procedures to address specific fraud risks with only 15 councils conducting any form of risk assessment within the past two years. The survey concluded that many councils need to improve on this significantly. Why are good fraud control practices so critical? Fraud can cause significant financial and reputational damage and in terms of councils and the community “… can directly influence councils’ ability to deliver services, and undermine community confidence and trust.” 

The audit also identified a pattern of councils implementing policy, procedures or systems without ensuring that staff understood how they worked, with less than a third of surveyed councils incorporating regular training in the identification and response to suspected fraud, or public education strategies for reporting. Similar findings were made in terms of fraud control health checks, code of conduct and conflicts of interest management, and Pubic Interest and Disclosure (PID) policy management.

The findings of this audit highlight areas where councils could improve their fraud control practice including:

  • Tailoring fraud control plans
  • Reviewing fraud risks
  • Communicating fraud risks
  • Ensuring compliance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994

At OCM, our handpicked team are highly skilled and experienced in a full range of services to help prevent and respond to fraud in your organisation. We have the expertise and capacity to work with you to develop fraud control processes unique to your organisation including the identification and evaluation of risks and implementation of mitigating strategies and controls; providing expert advice; testing the effectiveness of your existing system or conducting a systematic fraud health check. We also specialise in providing training programs suited to government employees on how to identify and report fraud or to ensure you have accurately captured your risk information.

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How Does Fraud Occur?

At OCM, our highly regarded professionals from the fraud and corruption prevention field can work with your organisation to explore the underlying reasons why misconduct, fraud or corruption has occurred. There may be a disconnect between your employees and your organisational values, cultural drivers and/or gaps in the internal governance processes that contributed to the conduct. OCM will help you to make your organisation more resistant to fraud and corruption by developing fraud prevention systems and strategies, conducting reviews and audits of processes, and training to build internal capability.

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Why Choose OCM?

OCM has an unrivaled depth of experience and skill available to assist you with any fraud related enquiries.

Dr Robert Waldersee is considered an expert in this field having previously been the Executive Director of Corruption Prevention for the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) where he was responsible for the promotion of integrity of public administration in NSW.

With former members of NSW government agencies most experienced in dealing with fraud activity and control including the ICAC, Police Integrity Commission (PIC) and NSW Police Force, we have built a team of highly skilled and experienced experts who are ready and well equipped to help guide and support your organisation through the process of strengthening your fraud control systems and framework.