Commonwealth fraud framework expanded to cover corruption

The Federal government has released updated rules and guidelines requiring Commonwealth entities to be proactive in preventing, detecting and dealing with fraud and corruption.

Katy Gallagher

The new framework comes into force on July 1.

The new measures, which build on existing anti-fraud obligations, will complement the work of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre in preventing fraud and corruption in the Commonwealth public sector, Attorney General Mark Dreyus says.

The existing Commonwealth Fraud Framework, established in 2014, outlines the Australian Government’s requirements for fraud control, and requires Commonwealth entities to have a comprehensive fraud control program that covers prevention, detection, investigation and reporting strategies.

It contains three key documents: the Fraud Rule, Fraud Policy and Fraud Guidance.

The new framework means the three documents now also cover corruption, with the Fraud and Corruption Rule binding on all accountable authorities of corporate and non‑corporate Commonwealth entities, requiring them to take steps to prevent, detect and respond to corruption and fraud.

“Fraud and corruption can occur in any Australian Government body,” public service minister Katy Gallagher said in a statement on Thursday.

“Left unchecked they can divert resources from the Australian community, weaken our efforts to create a fairer Australia and undermine the important work of Government in developing and delivering services and programs.”

The Government was committed to integrity, honesty and accountability she said.

“We are delivering a significant integrity reform agenda to restore public trust in government and strengthen standards of integrity in the federal public sector.”

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