Fraud prevention and internal investigations

In 2015–16, we continued to prevent, detect, disrupt and investigate potentially fraudulent activity in the ATO, in line with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014.

Allegations of fraud, serious misconduct and other criminal activity by ATO employees are investigated and referred for prosecution where appropriate. During the year, two cases were finalised as a result of court convictions, and 319 new allegations were received. Of these:

  • 82 were substantiated
  • 131 were unsubstantiated
  • 60 were considered indeterminable or actioned in other ways
  • 46 remain open at the end of the year.

The substantiated allegations were predominantly related to unauthorised access to records, including access to the employee’s own record and the records of family members. Some other matters such as conflict of interest and misuse of ATO facilities were also identified. Only two matters warranted referral for possible prosecution.

To help mitigate fraud and corruption risks across the organisation, we continued to invest in fraud prevention activities and support staff with change activities. The ATO fraud and corruption control plan was refreshed as part of our annual cycle of review. It focuses on risks around the value of the information and data we hold, our changing workforce mix and the integrity of our resources. The plan is supported by a program of targeted review work, a fraud detection strategy, and a continually developing range of online and self-help materials.