The rise in global terrorism increases a number of associated risks, including that legitimate public or private funding is diverted to support terrorist purposes. While rare, this can include funds intended for government programs. There are a number of ways that terrorists can attempt to divert funds, including by fraudulently posing as legitimate suppliers, companies, NGOs and charities or by infiltrating legitimate enterprises.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) takes the risk of terrorism-financing seriously across its diverse global work, including the Australian Aid Program.
Australian law prohibits the financing and support of terrorism, with offences applying under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth) and associated regulations. Offences can apply regardless of whether the conduct constituting the offence or the result of the conduct occurs within Australia or overseas.
To promote informed decision-making and management strategies, DFAT considers terrorism-financing risks at all times when spending Australian Government funds. This includes:
- Assessing terrorism-financing risks prior to commencing programs and activities;
- Conducting due diligence assessments on suppliers and delivery partners prior to engagement;
- Requiring partners and suppliers to manage terrorism-financing risks in line with Australia’s counter-terrorism financing laws and other relevant laws and obligations;
- Managing terrorism-financing risks during project design, implementation and delivery;
- Conducting checks to ensure terrorism-financing risks are being appropriately managed; and
- Obliging partners, suppliers and staff to report allegations, suspicions and cases of terrorism-financing.
DFAT’s contracts, grant agreements and other funding arrangements require partners and suppliers to appropriately manage the risks of terrorism-financing. Partners and suppliers must also ensure that their contractors, grantees and other parties also appropriately manage terrorism-financing risks.
DFAT proactively works to reduce the risk that Australian public or private funds are used to support terrorists through its role maintaining and regulating Australia’s sanctions regime, support for robust international financial governance, and efforts bilaterally and multilaterally to combat terrorism and improve counter-terrorism capacity.
All concerns and suspicions relating to the diversion of public or private funds, including DFAT funds, to terrorists should be provided to: