- The department does not tolerate fraud or corruption.
- Instances of fraud or corruption significantly impact schools and the department by causing financial loss and reputational damage.
- The department requires all employees and contractors to act honestly and with integrity, and to safeguard the public resources for which schools and the department are responsible.
- The department’s Fraud and Corruption Control Unit receives, assesses and investigates reports of suspected fraud and corruption.
- All employees must report suspected fraud or corruption in the department and schools. The department’s Fraud and Corruption Control Unit will assess all reports it receives to ensure employees are provided with public interest disclosure protections where applicable.
What is fraud and corruption?
Fraud is dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity including theft of moneys or other property by employees or persons external to the entity and where deception is used at the time, immediately before or immediately following the activity.
This also includes deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a non-business purpose or the improper use of information or position for financial benefit.
Corruption is dishonest activity in which a director, executive manager, manager, or employee or contractor of an entity acts contrary to the interests of the entity and abuses his/her position of trust in order to achieve some personal gain or advantage for him or herself or for another person or entity.
Preventing fraud and corruption
Principals are responsible for demonstrating their commitment to building and maintaining an ethical culture in their school, modelling the department’s values, treating risks of fraud, corruption and other losses effectively and creating an organisational environment hostile to fraudulent and corrupt behaviour.
All employees, contractors, volunteers and school council members are responsible for reducing the risk of fraud, corruption and other losses by:
- understanding and applying the department’s policies, procedures and guidelines, such as the finance manual and guidance and the policies and guidelines on conflicts of interest, procurement, recruitment and managing misconduct
- reporting all cases of suspected internal and external fraud and corruption perpetrated against schools and/or the department
- maintaining the security of school and the department’s money and assets.
Reporting fraud and corruption
All employees are required by law (under the Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic)) to report activities they suspect might be fraud or corruption.
If you make a report, the report may meet the requirements of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) (the Act) and you may be entitled to public interest disclosure protections under the Act.
Employees can also make reports:
- to their principal or manager, who should discuss the report with the Fraud and Corruption Control Unit; or
- via the department’s , a 24 hour, independently managed service available to take reports from employees about possible fraud, corruption or serious misconduct. Speak Up can be contacted on .
Principals have additional obligations under the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) as executive officers of school councils to report any suspected corrupt conduct in relation to school councils and school council employees to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). The Fraud and Corruption Control Unit will support principals to meet this obligation.
How reports are managed
The Fraud and Corruption Control Unit assesses all reports to consider whether the report:
- may be a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), which provides disclosers with protections from reprisals, and requires strict confidentiality of these reports be maintained
- must be notified to IBAC
- should be notified to Victoria Police
- should be referred to another area of the department for action
- should be investigated by the Fraud and Corruption Control Unit.
Reviewed 02 November 2023