Help and support
Help and support to customers, staff and third parties to help them follow correct processes and encourage them to comply with rules and processes and meet expectations.
Why this countermeasure matters
Lack of help and support for individuals to understand requirements and follow correct processes may lead to:
- frustrated staff, clients or third parties – this can motivate them to commit reckless fraud or allow them to rationalise fraudulent or corrupt behaviour
- clients, staff or third parties acting in an inconsistent way or making errors resulting in higher levels of non-compliance
- weaknesses in processes and controls which fraudsters can exploit
- less visibility of fraud and corruption risks
- fraud or corrupt activity going unnoticed or unchallenged.
How you might apply this countermeasure
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:
- telephone support and coaching
- web content, chat-bots and FAQs
- regular communications on updates and requirements.
How to check if your countermeasures are effective
Here are some ways to measure the effectiveness of this type of countermeasure:
- confirm the existence of help and support guidelines.
- conduct trend analysis of call wait times.
- conduct a business process analysis to assess program accessibility. For example, is it easy for clients to access help and support through multiple channels?
- undertake testing or a process walk-through to confirm that help and responsive support is provided.
- confirm the existence of a feedback and reporting loop to make sure help and support guidelines remain relevant or can be improved.
- undertake a staff census and particularly ask questions relevant to coaching, communication and support.
- review APSC Census Results if you are Commonwealth entity.
Adequately resourced prevention and compliance areas enable entities to perform effective countermeasures.
Develop clear instructions and guidance for activities and processes, such as instructions for collecting the right information to verify eligibility or entitlements, procedures to help staff apply consistent and correct processes and guidance to help staff make correct and ethical decisions.
Provide staff with adequate training to increase likelihood that correct and consistent processes and decisions will be applied.
Train and support staff to identify red flags to detect fraud, know what to do if they suspect fraud and know how to report it. Fraudsters can take advantage if staff and contractors are not aware of what constitutes fraud and corruption.
Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.
Escalate non-standard requests or claims for further review or scrutiny. Non-standard requests or claims might include those that are late, do not meet normal conditions, include evidence that is difficult to verify (such as from overseas) or are for amounts that are higher than normal.