1. Purpose of policy
It is the purpose of this policy to give effect to the University’s commitment to prevent and control fraud and corruption. The University recognises that fraud and corruption management is an integral part of good governance and management practice and is consistent with the University’s Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy and all relevant legislation and standards.
2. Policy scope and application
2.1 This policy applies to all staff, students, contractors and members of University decision-making or advisory bodies, including the University Council and its Committees.
2.2 The policy is based on the guidelines and principles of the Financial Accountability Act 2009, Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (CC Act) and the Australian Standard: AS8001-2008 Fraud and Corruption Control (the Australian Standard).
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to the effectiveness of it.
Corruption is dishonest activity in which a director, executive, manager, employee or contractor of an entity acts contrary to the interests of the entity and abuses his/her position of trust in order to achieve some personal gain or advantage for him or herself or for another person or entity. The concept of ‘corruption’ within this standard can also involve corrupt conduct by the entity, or a person purporting to act on behalf of and in the interests of the entity, in order to secure some form of improper advantage for the entity either directly or indirectly. (According to the definition of corruption from the Australian Standard.)
Fraud is dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity and also includes the deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a normal business purpose or the improper use of information or position for personal financial benefit. (Based on the definition of fraud from the Australian Standard.)
Corrupt Conduct as defined in section 15 of the CC Act.
4. Regulatory background
4.1 The University is established under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 (Queensland legislation); it is a statutory authority, and as such falls within the jurisdiction of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) as a unit of public administration. Under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (CC Act), any acts which could amount to Corrupt Conduct must be notified to the CCC by the Vice-Chancellor and President, as the University’s chief executive officer (or public official), in accordance with section 38 of the CC Act.
4.2 The Financial Accountability Act 2009 requires the University to establish and maintain appropriate systems of internal control and risk management.
4.3 Implementing effective fraud and corruption controls is part of good governance and management practice. Such controls seek to minimise the risk, not only of financial loss, but also of damage to an organisation's reputation and that of its staff.
4.4 Consistent with the approach adopted by the CCC in its publication Fraud and Corruption Control: Guidelines for Best Practice (2005) fraud and corruption are not treated separately in this policy.
5. Policy statement
5.1 The University of the Sunshine Coast has a zero tolerance stance on fraud and corruption and is committed to minimising the risks of such behaviour and ensuring continuing organisational integrity and transparency in all University activities consistent with its Codes of Conduct and the law.
5.2 The objectives of this policy are to ensure the University:
- develops and maintains an organisational culture of honesty and integrity,
- puts in place processes that ensure effective prevention, detection and management of fraud and corruption, based on the Australian Standard AS8001-2008: Fraud and Corruption Control and the Crime and Corruption Commission’s “Fraud and corruption control: guidelines for best practice”, and
- encourages, supports and protects persons who report suspected fraud and corruption.
6. Fraud and corruption control framework
This policy is based on the CCC's 10 element best practice control model, which is consistent with national and international best practice. The elements are:
1. University wide integrated policy
2. risk assessment
3. internal controls
4. internal reporting
5. external reporting
6. public interest disclosures
8. code of conduct
9. staff education and awareness
10. client and community awareness
These elements are addressed in the related procedures and enshrine the key themes from the Australian Standard which are:
- planning and resourcing,
- detection, and
The University’s Fraud and Corruption Control Framework (refer Diagram 1) comprises the above elements and themes and it is anticipated that the implementation of this policy will serve to:
- protect the University's assets, interests and reputation;
- ensure a transparent and coordinated approach in dealing with suspected fraudulent and corrupt behaviour; and
- where appropriate, safeguard the reputation of individuals subject to the operation of this policy.
Diagram 1 – Fraud and Corruption Control Framework
7. Reporting and protected disclosure
7.1 Where a staff member is aware of, or suspects, fraudulent or corrupt conduct they must report these suspicions immediately. Staff should do so in accordance with the University’s Public Interest Disclosure – Governing Policy. Legislative protection is accorded to staff members who make disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure – Governing Policy.
7.2 Under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) (CC Act) , any acts which could amount to corrupt conduct must be notified to the CCC by the Vice-Chancellor and President, as the University’s chief executive officer (or public official), in accordance with section 38 of the CC Act.
7.3 Confidentiality must be maintained throughout any investigative process.
8. Authorities and Responsibilities
|Activity (refer to procedures for further detail)||University Officer|
||Vice-Chancellor and President|
||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible for ensuring that appropriate mechanisms are in place within their areas of control to:
||University Executive and Management|
|Responsible for undertaking their duties in accordance with the University’s Staff Code of Conduct. Responsible to:
||All University staff|
|Responsible to ensure all matters relating to (alleged) fraud or corrupt conduct are dealt with appropriately. Responsible for approving the Fraud and Corruption Control Plan.||Audit and Risk Management Committee|
||Senior Internal Auditor|