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Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 27 April 2017.

(2) This Policy is pursuant to the Code of Conduct.

(3) This Policy includes:

  1. Schedule A: Areas at Risk of Fraud and Corruption.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(4) The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. promote a culture of honesty, integrity and professionalism
  2. Deakin does not tolerate fraud and corruption
  3. establish controls and procedures to prevent and detect fraudulent and corrupt activities
  4. provide guidance about what constitutes fraud and corruption to assist those working for or on behalf of the University to recognise and deal appropriately with this conduct
  5. mandate the reporting of any fraud or corrupt conduct, and
  6. outline the consequences for people who engage in this conduct.
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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Policy concerns the University's approach to preventing and dealing with fraud and corruption and applies to students, staff and associates of the University and its controlled entities. Any research and academic misconduct by staff and students will be dealt with under the Research Conduct policy, the Academic Integrity policy and the Student Academic Misconduct procedure. Special procedures and protections apply to any person making a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012. The Protection of Persons from Detrimental Action procedure addresses protected disclosures.

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Section 4 - Policy

Ethical environment

(6) The University is committed to establishing and maintaining an organisational culture that upholds the highest standards of legal, ethical and moral behaviour in its stewardship of public and private funds for the pursuit of its objects in teaching and research.

(7) The University requires all individuals acting on its behalf to conduct business honestly, ethically and professionally and does not tolerate fraud and corruption and any form of dishonesty in its transactions. This requires individuals to not only be responsible for their own behaviour but to support others in adopting ethical practices.

Prevention

(8) The University is committed to preventing fraud and corruption within the University and its controlled entities. To this end, the University will put in place appropriate mechanisms for fraud and corruption risk management, including policies and procedures, risk assessment, internal controls, investigation, reporting, education and independent auditing to reduce the incidence of fraud and corruption and regularly evaluate these for effectiveness.

(9) The University recognises that the risk of fraud and corruption can arise in various contexts and will put in place measures proportionate to the risks it faces in order that staff, students and associates of the University and its controlled entities are aware and understand the relevant policies and procedures for the prevention, detection and elimination of fraud and corruption.

Response

(10) Fraud and corruption against the University may constitute a serious offence under Commonwealth and State law and the University will fully investigate any allegations of fraud and corruption as soon as the allegation is notified.

(11) A major objective in any fraud investigation will be the punishment of the perpetrators, to act as a deterrent to others. The University will follow disciplinary procedures (Staff Discipline policy; Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2013 and Student General Misconduct procedure) against any member of staff or student who has committed fraud and corruption. The University will normally involve the police and other relevant government agencies and pursue the prosecution of any such individual. Associates may have commensurate action taken against them, which may include termination or non-renewal of their appointment or contract. The University may also initiate civil action to recover losses.

(12) Investigation of matters by the University will follow principles of natural justice. The University will appoint individual(s) who are impartial and who possess appropriate skill and expertise as part of the investigation process.

(13) All suspected incidents of fraud and corruption will be recorded in order to identify trends and prevent recurrence.

Reporting

(14) Staff and associates of the University and its controlled entities must report suspected incidents of fraud and corruption at the earliest possible stage to the Chief Financial Officer (or if the matter involves the Chief Financial Officer to the Vice-Chancellor) and actively assist in any investigation. Reports are to be made on the basis of honest and reasonable beliefs.

(15) Provided that an allegation of fraud, corrupt conduct or maladministration is made lawfully without malice and in the public interest, persons or organisations who have dealings with the University are encouraged to come forward and report known and suspected incidents of wrongdoing to help promote integrity, accountability and good management within the University.

(16) The Chief Financial Officer will seek advice from the University Solicitor regarding the external reporting requirements which may be triggered by specific reports or allegations and will provide advice to individuals accordingly, including rights and responsibilities arising under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic), and the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance 2016.

(17) The University does not tolerate vexatious and frivolous complaints and may initiate disciplinary proceedings where complaints of this nature are found.

Responsibility

(18) The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the management of the University’s internal control framework that covers fraud and corruption prevention and control.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(19) Refer to the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(20) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Associates: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.
  2. Corruption: (from the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic)) dishonest activity in which a member of staff, student, controlled entity or an associate of the University acts contrary to the interests of the University, knowingly or recklessly abuses his/her position of trust, and adversely affects the University’s effective and honest performance or intends to do so in order to achieve personal gain or advantage for him or herself or for another person or entity. Corruption 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. Corruption does not occur unintentionally, or through mistaken actions.
  3. Fraud: the act of dishonestly obtaining a material benefit by deception or other means. Fraud can include, for example, theft, deliberate falsification, concealment or misuse of documentation, or false representation. The University considers fraud an act of serious misconduct and grounds for termination of employment, in accordance with the relevant workplace agreements.
  4. Staff: a member of the Academic or Professional staff, Executive or Honorary staff member.
  5. Student: (i) a person enrolled in a course or unit in the University; (ii) a student of another higher education institution to whom the University grants rights of access to University premises and facilities; (iii) a candidate for an award of the University whose work has been examined or assessed but on whom the award has not been conferred; (iv) a person who is on leave of absence from or who has deferred enrolment in a unit or course of the University.