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Learn about the AIC Fraud Census

The Australian Institute of Criminology

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is Australia’s national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice. It compiles trend data and publishes research and policy advice. It also informs crime and justice policy and practice in Australia by undertaking, funding and publishing relevant research of national significance. It does this by creating a crime and justice evidence base and by establishing a national knowledge centre.


How fraud reporting began

In March 1987, a review was undertaken of how fraud is dealt with in the Commonwealth following community concern about taxation and welfare fraud. This led to the creation of the Fraud Control Policy of the Commonwealth in 1994 which included a reporting system to monitor trends in Commonwealth fraud.


AIC and the Fraud Census

Information on fraud against the Commonwealth was first collected by the Attorney-General’s Department in 1995. The AIC took over this role in 2006. Since that time, the AIC has conducted the annual Fraud Census and produced a number of insightful publications based on statistics on fraud experienced by Commonwealth entities and how fraud risks are managed across the Commonwealth.


Who responds to the Fraud Census

The Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework requires all non-corporate Commonwealth entities to collect information on fraud and to provide that information to the AIC in the form requested by AIC by 30 September each year.


Where to find out more information about the Fraud Census

The most recent published results of the fraud census are freely available on the AIC website. Questions regarding the census can be directed to

Further reading

This report presents information gathered during the 2016–17 financial year from all non-corporate Commonwealth entities about their experience of fraud and their fraud control measures.

This Statistical Report presents the findings of the most recent annual census of fraud against Commonwealth entities and the measures taken to prevent fraud. It highlights the substantial cost of fraud to the Commonwealth, from both internal and external sources targeting Commonwealth monies or resources.

The current report presents the information about the most harmful internal and external frauds committed against the Commonwealth in 2018–19, compared with those reported in 2016–17 and 2017–18. Data came from finalised fraud investigations that were reported by Commonwealth entities in response to the Australian Institute of Criminology’s annual fraud census.

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