Prevention of Fraud and Corruption Policy | City of Casey
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Endorsed: 17 October 2017

Prevention of Fraud and Corruption Policy

Version 3.1

1. Purpose

The policy outlines the City of Casey’s commitment to the prevention, deterrence, detection and investigation of all forms of fraud and corruption.

2. Definitions

Council

means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989

Councillors

means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Corruption

Dishonest activity in which a director, executive, manager, employee or contractor of an entity acts contrary to the interests of the entity and abuses his/her position of trust to achieve some personal gain or advantage for him or herself or for another person or entity. Examples of corruption include:

• Release of confidential information for other than a proper business purpose in exchange for some form of non-financial benefit or advantage accruing to the employee releasing the information

• Collusive tendering (the act of multiple tenderers for a particular contract colluding in preparation of their bids)

Fraud

Dishonest conduct or misuse of position or authority in order to obtain some advantage, the theft of funds, assets or information, or the unauthorised use of Council assets for personal gain.

This also includes the deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a normal business purpose or the improper use of information or position.

Fraud examples include the following activities that result in actual or potential financial loss.

  •  Forgery or alteration of cheques, invoices, computer records and other documents
  •  Any misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or any other asset
  •  Any irregularity in the handling or reporting of monetary transactions
  •  Un-authorised use or misuse of Council property equipment, materials or records
  •  Any computer related activity involving the alteration, destruction, forgery or manipulation of data for fraudulent purposes or misappropriation of Council owned software
  •  Any claim for reimbursement of expenses that are not made for the exclusive benefit of the Council.

Control (or intent to control)

Control is defined as an existing process, policy, device, practice or other action that acts to minimise negative risks or enhance positive opportunities

IBAC

Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission

Discloser

A person who makes a disclosure of improper conduct or detrimental action in accordance with the requirements of Part 2 of the Protected Disclosure Act 2012.

Investigation

Investigation is a search for evidence connecting or tending to connect a person (either a natural person or a body corporate) with conduct that infringes the criminal law or the policies and standards set by the Council.

3. Scope

This policy applies to Councillors, Council officers, volunteers, contractors and anyone undertaking business with the City of Casey

4. Context

Fraud and corruption is not tolerated at Council. The City of Casey will ensure all Councillors and Council officers are aware of the Prevention of Fraud and Corruption Policy and related operating procedures. All Councillors and Council officers are actively encouraged to report suspected incidents of fraud and corruption. Council promotes a culture where all fraudulent and corrupt activities once noticed or legitimately suspected are reported, investigated and resolved in a timely and fair manner. Council will not tolerate any incident of fraud or corruption – Councillors and Council officers shall act in accordance with the code of conduct and in the spirit of ethical standards.

The policy covers the following main areas:

  •  Definition of fraud and corruption
  •  Roles and responsibilities of Councillors and Council officers
  •  Responsibilities to allegations and concerns raised internally and externally
  •  Actions to be taken when fraud or corruption is discovered

5. Policy

5.1. Commitments

The City of Casey is committed to protecting its reputation, revenue, expenditure and property from any attempt either by members of the public, contractors, agents, Councillors or Council officers to gain by deceit financial or other benefits.

Council will:

  • Identify and evaluate significant areas of risk in relation to fraud and corruption,
  • Identifying and delegating responsibility for fraud control activities
  • Prioritise and schedule fraud and corruption control improvements in all areas of the Council’s operations
  • Continue the ongoing fraud control monitoring and review process
  • Ensure that the fraud and corruption policy and operating procedures are communicated to Councillors and Council officers through induction and training
  • Report regularly to the Audit and Ethics Committee on the implementation of this policy.

5.2. Roles & Responsibilities

Councillors

Councillors have a duty to ensure that Council assets are safeguarded from fraud and corruption and to ensure that the Council’s powers, duties and responsibilities are exercised in an open fair and proper manner to the highest standards of probity. Councillors will endorse and support all policies and measures taken to prevent, deter, detect and resolve instances or suspected instances of fraud throughout the Council. Conduct themselves in a manner that will ensure they avoid situations where their actions may be perceived to be fraudulent, corrupt or unduly influenced by a conflict of interest.

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer has primary responsibility for the proper management of Council resources and the development and implementation of systems and practices to minimise the risk of fraud and corruption.

Council Officers

Employees and volunteers will:

  •  Comply with internal control requirements, policies and procedures
  •  Be aware of the signs of acts of misconduct, fraud and corruption
  •  Report suspected acts of fraud, corruption and misconduct to their supervisor and/or management
  •  Assist with any enquiries and investigations pertaining to fraud, corruption or misconduct
  •  Conduct themselves in a manner that will ensure they avoid situations where their actions may be perceived to be fraudulent, corrupt or unduly influenced by a conflict of interest

Internal Audit

Internal audit has an important role in assisting management in the prevention and detection of fraud and corruption by:

  • Independently reviewing systems, procedures and controls to ensure that there are adequate safeguards to prevent, deter and detect fraud and corruption
  • Identify areas of concern through specific audits and testing of systems,
  • Advising on the production of rules regulations and policies which deter fraud and corruption.

Reporting

A report of any instance of behaviour involving possible fraud or corruption can be made by making a Protected Disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012. Further details can be obtained from the Manager Legal Services or by consulting Council’s Procedure for handling disclosures made under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012.

Any person can make a complaint to IBAC about Victorian public sector corrupt conduct. IBAC can also receive complaints about improper conduct under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic).

Information is available at http://www.ibac.vic.gov.au/report-corruption-or- misconduct/how-to-report-corruption-and-police-misconduct

6. Administrative Updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively. Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of Council.

7. Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 October 2021.

8. Breaches

Breaches will be dealt with under the provisions of the following:

  •  Code of conduct for Employees
  •  Code of Conduct for Volunteers
  •  Councillors Code of Conduct
  •  Protected Disclosure Act 2012

Where appropriate, breaches will be referred to the relevant external authorities.

9. Related Documents

This policy on fraud and corruption is to be read in conjunction with the following:

  •  Procedure for handling disclosures made under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012
  •  Code of Conduct for Employees
  •  Code of Conduct for Volunteers
  •  Councillors Code of Conduct
  •  Protected Disclosure Act 2012
  •  Australian standard – AS 8001- – Fraud and Corruption Control
  •  AS/NZS/ISO 31000 Risk Management Principles & Guidelines