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Maintain accurate information and data

Type of countermeasure

This is a prevention countermeasure. Prevention countermeasures are the most common and cost-effective way to stop fraud. They prevent or limit the size of the fraud risk by reducing the likelihood and consequences of fraud.

decorative  prevention countermeasures


Whole-of-Government policies require us to have a high level of confidence in data when providing government services and payments. Create policies, rules, processes and systems that check, update and verify information and data where possible. This will help:

  • accurately process claims or requests
  • data analysis and investigations
  • make correct payments and decisions
  • deliver better services to clients
  • encourage clients to update changes in their circumstances
  • prevent non-compliance and fraud
  • prevent and detect fraud through data matching, especially through entities having complete sets of data and aligned categories.

Why this countermeasure matters

Providing services to someone without maintaining accurate data can lead to:

  • fraudsters impersonating clients or third parties to receive fraudulent payments or gain access to information
  • someone providing false or misleading information to support a request or claim
  • fraudulent payments being made and multiple times
  • dual claiming of different payment or benefit types
  • incorrect and inconsistent reporting and decision-making
  • other control weaknesses such as less effective fraud detection.

How you might apply this countermeasure

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:

  • regularly checking information with clients
  • flagging potentially old and outdated information
  • matching information with more up to date records
  • having processes to notify and confirm with clients when their information is updated
  • having systems in place to independently check and verify the accuracy of data
  • having systems in place to confirm the identity of individuals providing data
  • having requirements for clients and stakeholders to update their circumstances
  • having clear, simple and secure processes for clients and stakeholders to update their data
  • having systems in place to identify and monitor changes to data
  • having systems in place to secure and limit access to data.

How to check if your countermeasures are effective

Here are some ways to measure the effectiveness of this type of countermeasure:

  • confirm that clear and consistent processes exist for checking, updating and correcting information and data
  • analyse data to confirm incorrect information is properly identified and corrected
  • confirm the existence of reference and guidance material
  • check if and how incorrect information is reported
  • identify how the requirement to maintain accurate information and data is communicated to staff
  • identify whether claims or data matching are hindered through not having accurate data
  • review identified cases of fraud involving the exploitation of inaccurate data
  • survey clients to check when and how they update information.

Related countermeasures

Whole-of-Government policies require us to have a high level of confidence in data when providing government services and payments. Create policies, rules, processes and systems to collect accurate and relevant data to help: • process claims • make decisions • check and verify data • analyse data to detect fraud • investigate potential fraud • define new indicators of fraud.

Verify any requests or claim information you receive with an independent and credible source.

Match data with the authoritative source and verify relevant details or supporting evidence. Services such as the Identity Matching Service can be used to verify identity credentials back to the authoritative source when the information is an Australian or state and territory government issued identity credential. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.

Related Fraudster Personas

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