Fraud Awareness for New Staff

It is vital that staff are aware of what fraud is, common types of fraud they may encounter, their responsibilities and how to report suspected frauds. Lithgow City Council expects staff to report suspected frauds.

Ethical Behaviour

Staff are expected to act ethically at all times. The Code of Conduct sets the standards for staff behaviour, including disclosure of interests and dealing with offers of gifts and benefits. The Code of Conduct can be accessed on the staff intranet.

New staff must sign-off that they have read and understand the Code of Conduct and must also complete an annual Conflicts of Interest Declaration.

Council also has a number of relevant Standard Working Procedures (SWPs), including:

  •  SWP 9.3 Secondary Employment
  •  SWP 9.24 Dignity and Respect in the Workplace

SWPs can also be accessed on the staff intranet.

What is Fraud?

Fraud is defined as “dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity including theft of moneys or other property by employees or persons external to the entity and whether or not deception is used at the time, immediately before or immediately following the activity. This 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” (Australian Standard AS 8001-2008).

Types of Fraud

Common types of fraud may include

  • False recordings on timesheets, not submitting leave forms and fake overtime claims;
  • Appointing contractors/consultants not supported by proper process;
  • Splitting purchase orders to avoid purchasing thresholds;
  • Creating phantom vendors or duplicate payments to suppliers;
  • Kickbacks or bribery (refer to gifts and benefits in the Code of Conduct);
  • Creating fake staff on the payroll;
  • Unauthorised staff access to IT systems;
  • Selling, leaking or misusing information; and/or
  • Running a private business/second job without permission.

Reporting Fraud

Council has adopted Policy 9.2 Fraud and Corruption Control Policy which is available in the Policies section on Council’s website.

Council officers have a responsibility and an obligation to report suspected or known incidents of fraud or corruption. Suspected fraud must be reported to your Director or the General Manager.

Ross Gurney
Chief Financial & Information Officer