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Assess the suitability of third party providers

Vector art of a clipboard with a checklist and a thin beaker next to it

Suitability assessments can help you make informed decisions about whether third parties are suitable to deliver a program or service on behalf of the Australian Government.

Third parties could be individuals or businesses, such as a vendor providing goods and services or a not-for-profit service provider.

Prevention is the most effective way to address fraud. Up-front checks and considered program and project design are more efficient and cost-effective than removing unsuitable third parties post-engagement.

There are no Australian Government-wide criteria or decision making approaches for suitability assessments and 'fit and proper person' tests as different government programs have different requirements, recipients and contexts. Despite these differences, there are common disqualifying criteria, such as criminal convictions, professional misconduct and conflicts of interest that represent an intolerable risk.

How a suitability assessment can help prevent fraud

Individuals commit fraud, not organisations. Criminals, scammers and fraudsters will always look to exploit government programs for their own gain. This includes where the Australian Government provides funds, resources and privileges to third parties to provide services on its behalf.

When undertaking suitability assessments on third parties it is important to assess the suitability of the individuals who own or are associated with organisations, not just the organisation itself.

Suitability Assessment Toolkit

The Centre's Suitability Assessment Toolkit identifies a range of tools Australian Government entities can use to assess the suitability of third parties.

It will help:

  • policymakers to incorporate provisions and processes into policy and legislative frameworks to allow for effective assessment of suitability
  • decision-makers to exercise due diligence when making a decision about suitability of a provider or when assessing compliance.

The toolkit also outlines how these tools may be applied, as well as the limitations these options pose.

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