Australian Institute of Criminology

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Glossary

Allegation of fraud

An accusation made by a person or identified by an entity that an offence has or may have been committed. This does not require substantive proof of the offence or identification of suspects; however, allegations should only be included where there exists sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation by your entity.

Collusion

Any incident of suspected fraud allegedly committed by an employee or contractor of the entity in collaboration or association with a person external to the entity.

Commonwealth Entity

Formerly known as Commonwealth agencies, Commonwealth entities are departments of state, parliamentary departments, listed entities or bodies corporate established by a law of the Commonwealth. This terminology is used in this report despite the Commonwealth Fraud questionnaires referring to ‘agencies’, the term used in the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2011.

Corruption

For the purposes of Commonwealth anti-corruption and fraud control policies, corruption can be defined as ‘the dishonest or biased exercise of a Commonwealth public official’s duty’. Entities may identify corrupt conduct engaged in by a public official (internal corruption), or conduct alleged against persons external to an entity in which they have sought to corrupt, or have actually corrupted, a Commonwealth public official (external corruption). An incident of corruption may involve both internal or external participants or both.

Duration of fraud

The amount of time the offender was committing fraud against the Commonwealth, from the time the commission of fraud commenced to the time the commission of fraud ceased, whether by choice of by detection.

Entitlements

A benefit or privilege that is assigned to an individual through an agreement.

Equipment

Any equipment or property belonging to a government entity.

External fraud

Any incident of suspected fraud allegedly committed against an entity by a person other than an employee (including contracted employees) of the entity.

Finalisation

Finalisation refers to the completion of the investigation, or referral to another entity, or the suspect leaving the employment of the entity.

Financial benefit

Gaining an advantage either financial or monetary through fraud, including offences relating to misuse of government finances or tools to gain an advantage, hiding income or assets and receiving or obtaining financial advantage.

Focus

The focus or target of the alleged fraud incident; that is, the benefit to be obtained.

Fraud

For the purposes of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines, fraud against the Commonwealth is defined as ‘dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means’ (AGD 2011: 7). The definition of fraud includes suspected fraud, incidents under investigation and completed incidents, whether the fraud was proved or not and whether the incident was dealt with by a criminal, civil or administrative remedy.

Fraud control

Any means undertaken by the entity to control fraud, including prevention and detection.

Incident

An incident refers to all counts alleged during one fraud investigation and may comprise a number of counts of offences that are actually prosecuted. An incident may take place on a single date or over a period of time and may involve one or more accused persons.

Information

Any information belonging to or stored by the entity including intellectual property, personal information either of employees or members of the public that is held by the entity.

Internal fraud

Any incident of suspected fraud allegedly committed by an employee or contractor.

Investigation

The minimum standards for investigations as set out in the Australian Government Investigation Standards.

Method

The methods used to carry out the alleged fraud incidents. Each incident can involve several methods and the same method can be used for different incidents.

Misuse of documents

Creation, use or theft of documents belonging to an entity, presentation of false documents or documentation to an entity. These include government documents, legal documents and personal documents.

Misuse of identity

Any unauthorised use of another person’s personal information that may be used to identify that person when dealing with the Commonwealth. Personal information may include a person’s name, address, date of birth, passport information, Medicare information, biometric information (eg fingerprint), Computer username and password, Tax File Number, telephone number and other pieces of information.

Misuse of information and communication technology

Any unauthorised use of computers, computer-related equipment or software to commit an alleged incident of fraud.

Losses

The total amount, in whole dollars, thought to have been lost to the entity from fraud incidents, prior to the recovery of any funds and excluding the costs of detection, investigation or prosecution.

Non-compliance

Non-compliance is the failure to meet conditions and obligations under laws and regulations. It may occur through a lack of understanding or awareness of obligations or because compliance is difficult. Alternatively, non-compliance may be deliberate. If evidence cannot establish the requisite degree of intention, recklessness or negligence in adhering to obligations, the conduct may be characterised as non-compliance, as opposed to fraud.

Recoveries

Whole dollars recovered by criminal prosecution, civil remedies, administrative remedies or other means. Does not include money recovered from fines if the money did not return to the entity.

Referrals

The number of incidents that were passed on to another entity after an investigation.

Review

Internal administrative process to determine whether fraud is occurring.

Suspect

The individual believed to have carried out the fraud incident.

Timeframe—reference period

The reference period for incidents is the 2012–13 financial year. The start date of an incident should be the date the entity was notified of or discovered the allegation.