Clear public communication
Providing clear statements and communications on entity practices and responses can help prevent staff and clients falling victim to scams or slipping into non-compliance, while discouraging fraudulent or corrupt activities. Staff and clients will be less able to rationalise or justify fraudulent or corrupt conduct when informed of the correct behaviour and processes, and impacts of fraud and non-compliance.
Why this countermeasure matters
The messages we communicate to the public can change a person’s beliefs and perceptions about the risks and perceived benefits of committing fraud.
Clear public messaging about what to expect from the government can make it much harder for scammers to craft a believable alternative narrative, for example, by asking someone to pay for a service that is fully subsidised by government.
Applying a counter-fraud lens to existing public messaging about programs can strengthen it without changing the focus or tone. For example, clearly communicating the methods by which the government will (or will not) contact individuals can help prevent them falling victim to scams and identity theft.
Confusing or a lack of statements and communications about entity practices may lead to:
- staff and clients being at risk of falling victim to scammers pretending to be from your entity
- staff or clients releasing personal information that enables fraud to occur against your entity
- confusion about how to be or remain compliant.
How you might apply this countermeasure
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:
- clearly communicating to the public how your entity will (and will not) seek information from them
- creating clear statements to make it easy for clients to comply with policies and procedures
- developing communications and letters using behavioural economics to encourage compliance
- avoiding URLs in communication or only linking to an ‘aus.gov.au’ or another '‘gov.au’ website.
How to check if your countermeasures are effective
Here are some ways to measure the effectiveness of this type of countermeasure:
- undertake a staff or client census and include focused questions to measure client knowledge about how your entity contacts them and how they can contact your entity
- undertake regular interviews of staff and clients
- monitor website activity
- analyse quantitative and trend fraud and non-compliance data before and after communications have been made
- complete a qualitative review of substantiated fraud and misconduct investigations.