Australian Institute of Criminology

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Fraud prevention and control

Legends Hotel, Gold Coast
25 August 2000

Contents

Introduction

This conference examines the problem of fraud from the perspective of both public and private sector agencies. It discusses the most recent areas of concern relating to economic crime and considers Australia's most innovative strategies designed to deal with them. Topics covered include: fraud in the information technology, retailing, financial services, and securities market sectors; law enforcement responses at Federal and State level; how fraud investigators should be trained; the use of forensic computing services; and prosecution and sentencing of offenders.

Message from the Minister

The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that fraud costs the community between $3 and $3.5 billion per year. This makes fraud the most expensive category of crime in Australia.

Fraud is not a 'victimless' crime. Fraud robs governments, companies and the community of scarce resources. This means that, ultimately, it is individuals who suffer, through company downsizing, redundancies, price rises, and restrictions on services.

The Federal Government is committed to working with the States and Territories, and the private sector, to prevent, report and prosecute fraud.

Government action is important, but ultimately it can only be one component of a comprehensive response to fraud. The public and private sectors need to focus on preventing and prosecuting fraud if we are to make a real difference. Fraud is not an inevitable cost of doing business, and nor does it go away if it is simply forgotten. Fraud control must be seen as part of everyday management, not an activity 'off to the side', seriously considered only when a crisis occurs. Fraud should be managed as part of corporate risk management strategies. Fraud in any environment should be reported, and those responsible should be brought to justice. Successful prosecutions punish fraudsters, and deter those who might be considering similar activity. Prosecutions show the community that fraud is a serious crime that will not be tolerated by business or government.

Together we can fight fraud.

Senator, The Hon Amanda Vanstone
Minister for Justice and Customs

Conference papers