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Curtin University
Integrity and Standards Unit

Fraud and corruption prevention

Curtin University has zero tolerance for any fraudulent or corrupt conduct.

To this end, the University has adopted a clear framework for controlling the risks of fraud and corruption which is based on the Australian Standard for Fraud and Corruption Control (AS 8001:2008).

The approach is heavily focused on preventing and minimising fraud and corruption risks, with a strong emphasis on continually improving staff awareness.

Fraud and corruption control framework

The University's framework for fraud and corruption control provides a rigorous approach to managing fraud and corruption risks that may be committed:

  • against the University, whether from internal or external sources; or
  • by or in the name of the University.

The framework comprises three key themes:

  • Prevention – pro-active measures designed to help reduce the risk of fraud and corruption occurring in the first place.
  • Detection – measures designed to uncover incidents of fraud and corruption as close as possible to the time when they occur, or before they occur by identifying attempts or acts in preparation.
  • Response – reactive measures designed to investigate, take any necessary corrective action, impose sanctions and remedy the harm caused by fraud or corruption.

The framework is embodied in a Fraud and Corruption Control Plan which, further to extensive consultation, was approved by the University's Planning and Management Committee on 27 May 2014 (and revised / updated in Feb 2019).

Prevention Theme

The University has implemented/is implementing many measures designed to prevent fraudulent and corrupt activity. They include:

  • The Strengthening our Culture Initiative.
  • Strong management commitment.
  • Resources dedicated to defining, implementing and overseeing fraud and corrupt prevention initiatives.
  • Availability of various ethics and integrity-related publications for staff and students.
  • Various policies and procedures that provide clear guidance to staff on matters such as fraud and corruption control and conflicts of interest / gifts, benefits and hospitality.
  • Identification and management of fraud and corruption risks via a comprehensive risk assessment and risk treatment plans.
  • Pre-employment screening.
  • Awareness, education and training programs, aligned to meet the needs of multiple stakeholder groups.

Detection Theme

The University employs/is putting in place a number of measures to early detect fraudulent and corrupt activity. These include:

  • A University-wide fraud detection strategy incorporating continuous monitoring and data mining analytics.
  • Provision of multiple avenues for individuals to report suspected fraud and corruption.
  • A risk-focused Internal Audit function, which also undertakes fraud audits.
  • Availability of internal Public Interest Disclosure (PID) officers and documented procedures, with staff encouraged to make protected disclosures involving suspected improper conduct.
  • Periodic reviews by qualified external service providers to review high risk corporate system data and identify any potential fraudulent or corrupt behaviour.

Response Theme

Key response strategies in place/in progress in the University for dealing with detected fraudulent and corrupt activity include:

  • A comprehensive complaint management system which includes a central portal for reporting instances of suspected fraud and corruption.
  • Availability of experienced resources for investigating suspected fraud and corruption who operate in accordance with defined investigation standards.
  • An independent disciplinary system for dealing with staff who have been found to have committed fraud or acted corruptly.
  • Reporting and analysis of fraud and corruption cases to senior management with identification of any emerging trends.
  • KPIs for measuring the incidence of fraud and corruption in the University.
  • Maintaining relationships with key external oversight and regulatory bodies in relation to the reporting and investigation of fraud and corruption matters.
  • Legal processes and insurance to recover losses in the event that the University suffers a financial loss.
  • Implementation of control improvements post-investigation, and independent follow-up to ensure new/revised controls are operating effectively.