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Train staff to apply correct processes and decisions

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

Provide staff with adequate training to increase likelihood that correct and consistent processes and decisions will be applied.

Why this countermeasure matters

Lack of adequate training for staff in how to apply correct processes and decisions can 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
  • staff acting in an inconsistent way or making errors resulting in higher levels of non-compliance and fraud
  • staff not applying processes and controls correctly, such as identity authentication, which fraudsters can exploit
  • staff not recognising inconsistencies or red flags, such as someone providing false or misleading information or evidence to support a request or claim
  • poor management of fraud and corruption risks
  • staff abusing their positions of trust to commit fraud or act corruptly.

How to put this countermeasure in place

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:

  • requiring all staff to complete induction training
  • providing specific guidance, training, and support to staff undertaking specialist processes
  • requiring all staff to undertake ethics and code of conduct training
  • making sure staff have completed mandatory qualifications and training.

How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness

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

  • Review statistics of completed training.
  • Analyse program error rates and complaints.
  • Ask staff about processes or systems to make sure they have received training.
  • Confirm training needs assessments and performance agreements are in place and they communicate minimum training requirements.
  • Undertake a staff census and particularly ask questions relevant to learning and development.
  • Review APSC Census Results if you are Commonwealth entity.

Related countermeasures

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.

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.

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

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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