Financial Services

University Policy on Fraud and Corruption

Policy No.
UP08/4
Function
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Employee Relations and Management Services
Date Approved
02/02/2010 Revised 05/10/2015
Next Review Date
05/10/2016
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Fraud and Corruption

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The University is committed to establishing and maintaining an organisational culture that supports ethical conduct and which minimises fraud and corruption risks to the University.

The purpose of this policy is to identify the University's framework for preventing, detecting and managing reports of suspected fraud or corruption by University Officers.

Definitions:

"the University" means The University of Western Australia.

"CCM Act" means the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003 (WA).

"Commission" means the Corruption and Crime Commission established under the CCM Act; or the Public Sector Commission established under the PSM Act, as relevant.

"Corruption" is dishonest activity in which a University Officer acts contrary to the interests of the University and abuses their position of trust in order to achieve some personal gain or advantage for him or herself or for another person or entity.

"Employee Representative" means a union representative or a person nominated by a University Officer to make representations to the University on their behalf and/or to provide them with support, who is not a currently practising solicitor or barrister.

"Fraud" is dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity including theft of money or other property by a University Officer(s) 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.

"Industrial instrument" means the relevant University Collective Workplace Agreement or other agreement as applicable to a University Officer and their contract of employment.

"Misconduct" in this policy is as defined by the CCM Act (see Appendix A). This definition is contrary to that used in other University policies where it often includes conduct that is unsatisfactory or contrary to that required by the UWA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct but which is not necessarily fraudulent or corrupt.

"Notification" is a formal notice of suspected misconduct from the University to the relevant Commission.

"PSM Act" means the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (WA).

"Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Officer" is a University Officer authorised by the Vice-Chancellor to receive disclosures of actual and potential public interest information.

"Report" means a report of suspected fraud and/or corruption.

"Reporter" means a person that makes a report.

"Responsible Person" is a person appointed by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar or the Director, Human Resources to investigate a report of suspected fraud or corruption.

"Senior Manager" means a member of the University Executive; a Director, Faculty Dean, Head of School, School Manager, senior manager; or a person acting in one of these positions.

"University Officer" means a person exercising authority for, or on behalf of, the University and includes a member of Senate, officer, employee, contractor or agent of the University or a controlled entity of the University.

"Vexatious report" means one which is made or pursued without reasonable grounds or made to harass or annoy, to cause delay or detriment, or for any other wrongful purpose.

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 The University recognises its prominent role in the wider community and its need for accountability. It is in the long term interest of the University to establish and maintain a framework that prevents, detects and effectively manages reports of suspected fraud and corruption.

1.2 The University is committed to providing an environment that:

  • fosters ethical practices;
  • is safe for those who wish to raise concerns; and
  • has fair processes for all persons involved in the management of a report of suspected fraud or corruption.

1.3 Where there is any inconsistency between this policy and the CCM Act or the PSM Act, the applicable act prevails.

1.4 Nothing in this policy prevents the University or any person from making a report of suspected fraud or corruption directly to the Police or Commission.

1.4.1 Any person who makes a report knowing that the content is false or misleading or does so maliciously or recklessly should be aware that they may commit a serious offence under section 25(5) of the CCM Act. Serious penalties, including imprisonment, may apply for committing such an offence.

1.4.2 A University Officer or student may be also subject to disciplinary action by the University for making a vexatious report.

2 Fraud and corruption prevention and detection strategies

2.1 The University has published strategies in place that aim to prevent and detect fraud and corruption (the Strategies).

2.2 The Associate Director, Risk and Legal advises the University's Audit and Risk Committee of any reports of suspected fraud and/or corruption since its last meeting.

Procedures

The University's fraud and corruption prevention and detection strategies are provided at Appendix B.

University risks identified by the Corruption and Crime Commission and hypothetical examples of fraudulent and corrupt conduct are provided at Appendix C.

Possible indicators of fraud are provided at Appendix D.

3 Roles and responsibilities

3.1 The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring the University has effective strategies in place to prevent, detect and manage reports of suspected fraud and corruption.

3.2 The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, as the appointed delegate of the Vice-Chancellor, is responsible for making appropriate notifications to the Commission; and for:

  • determining what, if any, action the University will take in relation to a report which must be in accordance with any directions of the Commission, industrial and other governing instruments; and
  • appointing the Responsible Person to an investigation where a report relates to a University Officer employed under the University's Academic Staff Agreement.

3.3 The Associate Director, Risk and Legal is responsible for:

  • ensuring the University has sound policies in place for risk identification, management and control;
  • taking steps to limit the University's exposure to fraud;
  • managing the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the Fraud Control Plan, which supports the strategies.

3.4 The Director, Human Resources is responsible for:

  • providing, or enabling support for, University Officers involved in the reporting or management of a fraud or corruption matter; and
  • appointing the Responsible Person to an investigation where a report relates to a University Officer employed under the Professional and General Staff Agreement or any other agreement.

3.5 A Responsible Person must conduct an investigation in accordance with any directions of the Commission, industrial and other governing instruments.

3.6 Senior Managers are responsible for supporting the Strategies and implementing any related activities as required by their position.

3.7 University Officers are responsible for:

  • conducting themselves in accordance with the University's Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct at all times;
  • supporting the Strategies and implementing any related activities as required by their position;
  • maintaining confidentiality about any report of suspected fraud and/or corruption and any actions taken in relation to the matter;
  • making a report of suspected fraud or corruption as soon as possible should they begin to hold a reasonable suspicion; and
  • assisting with, and be available for, any interviews requested by the University, Police or Commission.

3.8 A reporter is responsible for:

  • making a report to the best of their knowledge;
  • submitting the report in a confidential manner; and
  • maintaining an appropriate level of confidentiality throughout the management of the matter.

4 Making and managing reports of suspected fraud or corruption

4.1 Any person may make a report of suspected fraud or corruption to the University but does so accepting their responsibilities under this policy.

4.2 A person concerned about possible victimisation or reprisal for making a report should seek advice from a PID Officer in the first instance.

Procedures

PID Officer contact details are available on the Public Sector Commission website at https://publicsector.wa.gov.au/document/pid-officer-contact-directory.

4.3 A report may relate to fraud or corruption that may:

  • be about to occur;
  • is presently occurring; or
  • have previously occurred.

4.4 All necessary steps should be taken to preserve and secure any evidence and original documents in relation to suspected fraud or corruption from the earliest possible time.

4.5 A person that is the subject of suspicion must not be alerted unnecessarily or prematurely of a potential or actual report.

4.6 Reports should be supported with sufficient information to determine if reasonable grounds for suspicion exist.

4.7 The University will comply with any directions of the Commission.

Procedures

A report should be made to the supervisor of the University Officer that is the subject of suspicion. Where this is not possible and/or appropriate, a report should be made to the next-level supervisor or a Senior Manager. A report may also be submitted through the University's confidential online complaint form at www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/community/form . Reporters should note that this form is received by the Complaint Resolution Unit.

A report must be submitted in writing. Should a report be submitted in hardcopy, it must be submitted in person or in a sealed envelope that is clearly marked 'Private and Confidential'. A report should include the following information wherever possible:

- the nature of the suspected misconduct;

- the location;

- the identity of University Officer(s) involved ;

- the time period over which it is suspected to have occurred;

- an estimated monetary value; and

- evidence, e.g. letters, emails, records of conversations, photographs, sketches, research data, receipts, invoices, statements or any other written or non-written material.

Authorisation should be sought from the Director, Human Resources prior to alerting a person under 4.5 above. Where this is unavoidable, the person must be notified of their right to have an Employee Representative present at any meeting. Any discussion must also occur in the presence of an appropriate third party wherever possible.

A University Officer in receipt of an appropriate report must refer it to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar as soon as possible. Confidential advice on the appropriateness of a report is available from the Associate Director, Risk and Legal, the Director, Human Resources and the Manager, Complaint Resolution Unit.

Where a University Officer chooses not to refer a report to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, a copy of the report must be provided to the Associate Director, Risk and Legal.

The reporter must be advised as to whether their report was referred to the Senior Deputy-Vice Chancellor and Registrar. If the reporter is dissatisfied with the University Officer's decision, they may lodge a staff grievance under the relevant industrial instrument or submit a complaint to the Complaint Resolution Unit under the relevant complaint policy, as applicable. Alternatively, they may also make a report directly to the Commission under 1.4 of this policy.

Following receipt and consideration of any report, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar either makes a notification to the Commission or determines what, if any, internal action the University will take in relation to the matter. Notification guidelines are available from the Commission at: http://www.ccc.wa.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/notification_guidelines.pdf

A process map of these procedures is provided at Appendix E.

5 Records

5.1 University Officers must capture, maintain and transmit records in relation to fraud and corruption matters in a confidential manner, in accordance with this policy and its related procedures and the University Policy on: Records Management.

Procedures

A confidential TRIM file must be established by the University Officer that receives a report of suspected fraud or corruption under this policy. This file is requested through Information Governance Services under the following classification and format:

PERSONNEL - DISCIPLINE - Alleged Misconduct - Surname of person reported & ID - date report received.

This file must be maintained throughout the management of the matter and should contain the following:

- the initial report;

- evidence and an evidence log;

- written records and a running sheet of management actions taken;

- written records of all interactions, signed by the person(s) involved wherever possible; and

- file notes.

File access must be determined on a case-by-case basis and is subject to change.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:

F21310-03

Contact position:

Director, Human Resources

Related Policies or legislation:

Australian Standard 8001-2008 Fraud and Corruption control

Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003

Public Interest Disclosure Regulations 2003

Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913

The University of Western Australia Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

The University of Western Australia Academic Staff Agreement 2014

The University of Western Australia Professional and General Staff Agreement 2014

University Policy on: Managing Misconduct (Professional Employees)

University Policy on: Conflicts of Interest

University Finance Manual

University Policy on: Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research

University Policy on: Managing Alleged Breaches of the Code of Conduct for Research and Allegations of Research Misconduct

University Policy on: Professional and Consultancy Work

University Policy on: Records Management

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