Fraud control

Fraud Policy Statement

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) does not tolerate fraudulent or dishonest behaviour and is committed to preventing, detecting and responding to fraud in all aspects of its business.

Fraud undermines the ability of DFAT to achieve its objectives and reduces the effectiveness of the Australian Government’s policies and programs administered by DFAT. It is the responsibility of DFAT and its stakeholders to prevent funds, assets and information from being misused.

DFAT has a fraud control framework which supports the department to maintain a high level of service for its stakeholders, secures public money and property, and protects the integrity, security and reputation of the department. This includes an internal DFAT Fraud Control Plan, as well as a Fraud Control Toolkit developed specifically for DFAT Funding Recipients.

The DFAT fraud control framework also ensures that:

  • fraud against DFAT is prevented by proactively identifying fraud risk and developing, implementing, and continually reviewing fraud control measures;
  • fraud losses incurred by DFAT are minimised; and
  • where fraud occurs, it is promptly detected, effectively investigated and where appropriate sanctions are applied.

For further information on the department’s response to fraud see the external fraud fact sheet.

What is fraud?

Fraud in the Commonwealth environment is defined as:

“Dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means”. In this definition, “benefit” refers to both tangible items, such as money or objects, and intangible benefits including power, status or information.

Fraud prevention — who is responsible?

Fraud prevention is the responsibility of all DFAT staff (including locally engaged staff at overseas posts), who must ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, with respect to fraud prevention, detection and reporting. This responsibility extends to external parties that receive Australian Government funds, including commercial contractors, third party service providers, delivery partners, Partner Governments, multilateral organisations, non-government organisations and all other Funding Recipients.

All have an essential part in reducing the Department’s exposure to fraudulent activity by behaving in an ethical way, and promptly reporting any incidents of suspected fraud, ensuring fraud risks are managed and fraud is detected.

Reporting fraud

The department takes all allegations of fraud seriously and handles all allegations in a confidential, prompt and professional manner. DFAT maintains a Suspected or Detected fraud — Fraud Referral Form to assist departmental personnel and implementing partners to report instances of alleged wrongdoing in regards to DFAT funding.

Alternatively, you can provide information about suspected or detected fraudulent or unethical behaviour in the provision of Australian Government services managed by DFAT, by contacting the relevant area below:

Type of fraud Who to report the fraud to
External fraud Fraud Control Section fraud@dfat.gov.au
Passport fraud Passport Fraud and Compliance Section passports.fraud@dfat.gov.au
Internal fraud Employee Conduct and Ethics Section conduct@dfat.gov.au
Not sure what type of fraud it is? Write to us: fraud@dfat.gov.au
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221

What information should I report?

You are not required to provide your contact details. The more information and specific details you can provide about the allegation the easier it will be for us to action. You are encouraged to provide the following:

  • Who is involved? Include as much detail as you can such as the name of the person or organisation, addresses and phone numbers.
  • What fraud you think has occurred. Include how, when and where it occurred.
  • Your contact details.

What will happen next?

Your information will be assessed and, where appropriate, investigated. The department will endeavour to reply to your allegations, however, due to privacy restrictions and/or the integrity of any investigation, feedback may not always be provided. In particular, please note that if your allegation involves another individual, the department may not be able to give you any information about the conduct or outcome of the investigation due to the department’s obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.

For further information see the department’s privacy statement.

Fraud control toolkit for funding recipients

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has robust systems and procedures in place to protect public money and property from fraud and corruption. DFAT’s partner organisations (funding recipients) also play a critical role in minimising exposure of Australian funding to fraud and corruption. This Fraud Control Toolkit for Funding Recipients articulates DFAT’s requirements and expectations it has of its partners who manage and deliver programs and projects on behalf of DFAT.

Fraud control toolkit for funding recipients

Last Updated: 8 November 2018