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Investigate fraud

Type of countermeasure

This is a response countermeasure. Response countermeasures respond to fraud after it has occurred. They help to reduce the consequences or disrupt further consequences.


Investigate fraud in line with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (AGIS).

Why this countermeasure matters

The prosecution must prove every element of an offence beyond reasonable doubt to convict someone. Fraud investigations not in line with AGIS can:

  • be less effective
  • reduce the likelihood of prosecutions
  • encourage individuals to commit fraud if they think the chance of a successful prosecution is low.

How to put this countermeasure in place

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include investigating fraud using a suite of investigation tools like:

  • surveillance
  • search warrants
  • records of interview
  • financial analysis
  • digital forensics.

How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness

Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure using the following methods:

  • Broadly compare investigation procedures with AGIS. See AGIS Chapter 1.2 Performance Measures.
  • Consult analysts and investigators about their capability to investigate fraud.
  • Confirm if fraud investigations have previously been completed.
  • Retrieve and analyse fraud investigations data. For example:
    • The number of cases referred for investigation compared to tip-offs received.
    • The number of completed investigations compared to cases referred for investigation.
    • The number of cases referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) compared to the number of completed investigations.
    • The number of successful prosecutions to the number of cases referred to the CDPP.
  • Review feedback from the CDPP on the previous briefs of evidence.
  • Review the results of any audits into investigation standards.

Related countermeasures

This type of countermeasure is supported by:

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.

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.

Clearly document decision-makers using delegations, authorisations and instructions. Clearly defined decision-making powers increase transparency and reduce the opportunity for fraud and corruption.

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.

Coordinate disruption activities across multiple programs or entities to strengthen processes and identify serious and organised criminals targeting multiple programs.

Audit logging is system-generated audit trails of staff, client or third party interactions that help with fraud investigations.

Coordinate disruption activities across multiple programs or entities to strengthen processes and identify serious and organised criminals targeting multiple programs.

Related Fraudster Personas

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