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Make sure there is managerial, independent or expert oversight

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.

Summary

Make sure a manager, independent person or expert oversees actions and decisions. Multiple people being involved in actions and decisions increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.

Why this countermeasure matters

Allowing certain actions or decisions without managerial, independent or expert oversight can lead to:

  • actions and decision-making not being performed correctly
  • less visibility of fraud and corruption risks
  • less action and accountability to prevent, detect and respond to fraud and corruption
  • staff or contractors taking advantage of positions of trust to act corruptly, commit fraud and avoid exposure
  • staff or contractors being coerced to commit fraud for someone else.

How to put this countermeasure in place

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include requiring:

  • a manager to oversee staff activities such as work output, timesheets and travel
  • a probity advisor to review and sign-off procurement milestones
  • a contract manager to oversee contract requirements, such as reporting on software development milestones
  • a security advisor to oversee physical security arrangements.

How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness

Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:

  • Confirm the existence of processes to support transparent actions and decision-making.
  • Confirm that managerial, independent or expert oversight exists for critical actions or decisions.
  • Confirm clear reporting lines and separation of duties exist.
  • Review a sample of decisions to confirm independent or expert advice was obtained.
  • Review workflows to make sure the involvement/oversight of a manager, independent person or expert.
  • Review the volume of actions and decisions to determine if sufficient oversight is possible.
  • Assess the level of independence of independent persons or the expertise of experts.
  • Review reporting and reconciliation processes.
  • Undertake a staff census and include questions relevant to supervisor oversight.
  • Review APSC Census Results if you are Commonwealth entity.

Related countermesaures

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.

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.

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.

Prepare summary reports on activities for clients, managers or responsible staff.

Establish exception reports to identify activities that are different from the standard, normal, or expected process and should be further investigated.

Report on incidents or breaches to help identify if further investigation is required. Clients, public officials or contractors can take advantage of a lack of reporting and transparency to commit fraud, act corruptly and avoid exposure.

Conduct internal or external audits or reviews to 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.

Related Fraudster Personas

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