Provide help and support
Provide 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 to put this countermeasure in place
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include providing:
- telephone support and coaching
- web content, chat-bots and FAQs
- regular communications on updates and requirements.
How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness
Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:
- 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.
A positive workplace culture can encourage ethical and supportive behaviours while discouraging fraudulent or corrupt activities. Staff will be less able to rationalise fraudulent or corrupt activities where a positive workplace culture exists. A culture built on honesty, transparency and integrity is a key organisational strength that can serve to reduce the risk of fraud. If weak countermeasures are the fuel, a bad culture can be the spark that ignites fraud and corruption.
Legislation and policy can help prevent, detect and respond to fraud, such as by outlining clear rules, regulations and criteria, allowing entities to collect, use and disclose information and allowing entities to enforce penalties and recover fraud losses.
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.
Make sure a manager, independent person or expert oversees actions and decisions. Involving multiple people in actions and decisions increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.
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.
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.
Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.