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Focussing on grants fraud

Grants are widely used to deliver valuable services and support to many Australians.  Each year the Australian government provides billions of dollars’ worth of grants to organisations and individuals to provide:

  • increased and improved social services
  • opportunities for businesses
  • emergency relief and aid
  • support for research and innovation.

While grants provide a necessary mechanism to achieve key government objectives, they also carry significant integrity risks. Integrity risks can be further elevated when support is required under condensed timeframes, particularly in times of crisis or emergency.

Grant funding must be properly overseen to ensure it is used for expected purposes and to achieve desired objectives. And while the majority of grant recipients do the right thing and comply with their obligations, there will always be some who seek to make dishonest gains where there is opportunity, including through fraud and corrupt conduct.

It is crucial for the Commonwealth to consider all of these risks when designing and implementing grants programs. The Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre will soon collaborate with experts from different Commonwealth grants programs to better understand key fraud risks and learn about effective fraud prevention methods.

The project will achieve two main deliverables:

  1. The Centre will hold a grants management fraud workshop with a limited number of participants from across the Commonwealth, representing a range of agency sizes, resources, functions and nature of delivered grants.
  2. The Centre will publish and distribute a practical guidance product to support better practice fraud control in grants administration.

The project will also inform the ongoing work of the Centre by identifying other areas in need of fraud capability improvement across the Commonwealth. The project’s effectiveness will be measured through a survey with workshop participants and product feedback.

Do you have some insights into fraud risks in grants administration? We would love to hear from you. Contact us using the contact us form.

Additional resources

Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (Department of Finance)

Author: Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre

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