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Interning at the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention

In 2021, I completed an internship with the Centre through the Australian National Internships Program (ANIP) as a part of my public policy degree. I was matched with the Attorney-General's Department based on my interest in government and the legal field more generally.

decorative - book convocation cap

As a 4th year university student studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Public Policy at the Australian National University, this internship was a valuable opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the public service. It gave me a small taste of the interesting and important work that is done at the Centre, and AGD more broadly, and what I could expect if I was to work there in the future. I now have a better understanding of where I want to take my degrees post-graduation.

My research project for the Centre explored the ways in which the impact of a preventive policy can be measured and how preventive polices in other government departments can be used to make practical recommendations for preventive counter fraud policy.

My supervisor and Director at the Centre, Deanne Allan, directed me to useful resources and connected me with stakeholders at the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health. Case studies from these departments allowed me to draw conclusions about what makes a successful preventive policy, and how these lessons could be applied in the counter fraud space.

To summarise my findings in a few points:

  • Education and awareness campaigns, with an emphasis on cyber security and peer-comparison, would have a strong preventive effect.
  • Short term and long-term outcome evaluations are useful to capture changes in attitudes, behaviours and beliefs about fraud.
  • Process evaluations based on concrete data about processes involved in delivering a policy, such as advertisement and cost, would be critical.

Contact the Centre if you would like a copy of my report.

Author: Emily Drummond

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