8 April 2011

Coinciding in late March with the release of the ICAC report into corruption at Sydney Water, the Australian National Audit Office has published comprehensive  guidance on Fraud Control in Australian Government Entities. This revision of 2003 material, described as a Best Practice Guide, is an important tool for senior management and those who have direct responsibilities for fraud control.  ANAO also promotes its usefulness “to a wider audience, including employees, contractors and service providers and others with an interest in sound public administration”.

The importance of leadership and of managers modelling integrity is emphasised in the guidance. “The establishment of an ethical culture is a key element of sound governance and plays an important role in preventing fraud and helping to detect it once it occurs”.

New Zealand doesn’t have a comparable Best Practice guide, although similar content is packaged in “Controlling sensitive expenditure: Guidelines for public entities”, Managing conflicts of interest: Guidance for public entities” and “Fraud- the responsibilities and duties of public entities”.  All managers should be familiar with the content of these resources and  give effect to the expectations set out in them.   Managers modelling standards is one of the “6 trust elements” needed to maintain a trustworthy organisation.