Collect and analyse data to find and prevent fraud
Collect and analyse data to:
- improve processes and controls
- increase payment accuracy
- find and prevent non-compliance, fraud and corruption.
Why this countermeasure matters
Not collecting and analysis data to improve processes and payment accuracy may lead to:
- unclear or ineffective processes, leading to unidentified risks and control vulnerabilities
- unseen and unchecked fraud and corruption
- fraudsters deliberately exploiting program weaknesses
- systemic fraud and corruption.
How to put this countermeasure in place
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:
- profiling fraud methods against program data
- conducting risk scoring using specific data points
- analysing trends and patterns in program data such as increased fraudulent behaviour via online channels
- conducting spatial analysis to identify claiming patterns and checking what is different from the standard, normal or expected such as claims for disaster relief payments outside affected areas
- comparing large data sets to identify suspicious activity, also known as data washing.
How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness
Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:
- Consult subject matter experts on the data analytics that is performed.
- Review data analytic exercises to see if they conform to national guidelines and frameworks.
- Review the methods used to analyse the data.
- Review how data is used to analyse processes and fraud risks.
- Confirm sufficient data is collected to effectively analyse compliance, payment accuracy and potential fraud.
- Conduct a system or process walkthrough by having staff show you how data is collected and analysed.
- Review how often data analytics is performed.
- Confirm the data is:
- Check if and how the results are used to improve processes and controls.
Establish governance, accountability and oversight of processes by using delegations and requiring committees and project boards to oversee critical decisions and risk. Good governance, accountability and oversight increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.
Collaborate with strategic partners such as other government entities, committees, working groups and taskforces. This allows you to share capability, information and intelligence and to prevent and disrupt fraud.
Provide staff with adequate training to increase likelihood that correct and consistent processes and decisions will be applied.
Make sure requests or claims use a specific form, process or system for consistency.
Have clear and specific eligibility requirements and only approve requests or claims that meet the criteria. This can include internal requests for staff access to systems or information.
Make sure forms or system controls require mandatory information to support claims or requests.
Apply limits on requests, claims or processes, such as maximum claim amounts or time periods. Enforce these limits using IT system controls.
Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.
Require clients, staff and third parties to have ongoing compliance, performance and contract reviews.
Put protections in place to prevent data from being manipulated or misused.
Internal or external audits or reviews evaluate the process, purpose and outcome of activities. Clients, public officials or contractors can take advantage of weaknesses in government programs and systems to commit fraud, act corruptly, and avoid exposure.
Capture documents and other evidence for requests, claims and activities to detect, analyse, investigate and disrupt fraudulent activity.
Coordinate disruption activities across multiple programs or entities to strengthen processes and identify serious and organised criminals targeting multiple programs. It can also include referrals to law enforcement agencies for those groups that reach the threshold for complex criminal investigations.
Investigate fraud in line with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (AGIS).