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Use data to counter fraud

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Use data to counter fraud

In the modern world, data is a huge asset that underpins the vast majority of our interactions. The Office of the National Data Commissioner defines government data as “all the information (numbers, statistics, facts, concepts or other information) that is collected, held and used by the Australian Government”.

Data can be used for a variety of purposes, such as helping governments deliver more effective and efficient services to its citizens. It can also help governments protect taxpayer’s money from fraud and safeguard the essential services Australians rely on.

Australian Government entities can use data in a number of ways to improve the integrity of public services, including:

  • streamlining application processes and indicating where information provided may not be accurate
  • for assurance or compliance activities, such as by reviewing anomalies in the application, or post application behaviour
  • sharing it with other entities to find fraud across government programs or improve intelligence and suitability assessments.

It is critical that we look to share data across the Australian Government and with other sectors, as criminals, scammers and fraudsters look to exploit and take advantage of vulnerable Australians across multiple programs. By exploring and taking full advantage of opportunities to share and match data, entities will be able to better find and combat these fraudsters.

Why pilot arrangements are helpful

A data pilot is a way of designing and implementing a new data sharing arrangement to test whether it helps detect, disrupt or prevent fraud. This can help prove the concept with fewer resources and avoid common mistakes that can contribute to the failure of new projects.

The key aims of a data pilot are to test the quality, performance, reliability and value of the arrangement before increasing its scale or establishing repeatable or automatic data sharing.

How to run a data pilot

Our Data Sharing Pilots Leading Practice Guide describes a five-phase process to running a data sharing pilot to counter fraud:

  • Phase 1: clearly define the fraud problem you want to solve.
  • Phase 2: meet with potential partners to explore ideas and develop the concept, objectives and scope of the pilot.
  • Phase 3: develop a plan, legal frameworks and assessments, and define the data to be shared and the method of exchange.
  • Phase 4: exchange the data, analyse the data and test the results.
  • Phase 5: evaluate the results of the pilot and build on what you have learnt.

This guide reflects leading practice approaches and principles that have been developed and tested through multiple data pilots delivered in the UK and Australia.

Other resource

This guide is designed to help Commonwealth officials who are looking to develop a data sharing pilot to detect, disrupt or prevent fraud. It brings together key learnings and leading practices from data sharing pilots conducted in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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