The Office of the Auditor General has established a Forensic Audit Business Unit — a first for an Australian audit office.
Auditor General, Caroline Spencer said the Unit would conduct targeted, risk-based, forensic audits to identify vulnerabilities or indicators of significant fraud in State Government entities and provide recommendations for improvement.
“Our approach to targeting forensic audits is driven by an assessment of risk at a sector, entity and activity level, supported by intelligence gathered through various mechanisms and data analytics,” Ms Spencer said.
“Conducting a forensic audit in an entity or on an activity does not mean we believe fraud is going on, but if the audit leads us to a reasonable suspicion that it is, we will refer those matters to the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) or the Western Australia (WA) Police Force,” she said.
Ms Spencer said the Unit would work with entities to help them meet their responsibilities to deter and detect fraud.
“The team will facilitate sharing knowledge and experience through fraud resilience forums and provide resources like a better practice guide on fraud risk assessment planned for early 2022,” she said.
The Auditor General said the team was already building close relationships with investigative and law-enforcement bodies like the CCC and WA Police Force to further understand risks and make referrals.
“A cultural uplift is needed in fraud resilience across the Public Sector and, as a catalyst for that change, this new team will leverage our sector-wide knowledge and understanding to help better protect public resources from fraud and misappropriation,” she said.
“The team will produce an annual audit results report, summarising their activities and results for the year and, as appropriate, other public or confidential individual audit reports,” Ms Spencer said
The Auditor General’s 21-page Forensic Audit Report – Establishment Phase can be accessed at this PS News link.