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W, n , 

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J. Doyle: Just to observe that i actually didn't recommend that there should be a single service that conducted fraud examinations. my recommendation was that the risk management principles should be util- ized however government wished to manage the fraud function within government. i didn't actually say that there should be one area.

  • e second thing is that the focus at the moment has

been on nancial fraud, but there are plenty of other types of fraud, like representation. i have many numer- ous, sometimes humorous, sometimes not so humorous examples where people have basically misled interview panels regarding their qualications in order to get em- ployment or have misrepresented themselves in some way.

  • ere's also the diversion or the use of assets that be-

long to the government for alternative purposes other than those that have been expressed. [1345]

  • e original question was: what's the denition of

fraud? it actually is quite broad. it's not just nancial. it's some kind of misrepresentation that gives a benet to the individual concerned, whatever that may be.

b. Ralston (Chair): okay, guy, did you want to con- tinue, then?

  • G.

    Gentner: Well, i'll take a break.

  • b.

    Ralston (Chair): okay.

  • K.

    Corrigan: What i wanted to just ask, actually, fol-

lowing on what guy was asking about, was the level of fraud and whether or not we have any idea. i was really astounded, in the auditor general's report, that the association of certied fraud examiners in the u.S. estimated that the level of fraud in a survey of pub- lic sector, private sector, non-prots and government organizations was 7 percent of revenue, which seems incredible.

i just cannot believe that it would be that high here. i guess my question is: do we have an idea, and if we do, what kind of savings could be expected? What percent- age could we save if we have implemented a really strong fraud strategy?

S. Newton: i don't have a calculation for what would be saved in implementing a fraud strategy. at's part of what we're doing right now in developing a strategy. We don't have a complete picture of what all the fraud would be.

We do approach it on almost an issue-by-issue basis. in relation to things nancial, we've put controls in place to be able to deter, prevent or monitor for fraud.

We have not tracked, until recently, the number of in- stances of fraud, but within the internal audit function,

a 

where i was previously, we'd started to track the number of instances where we would get requests, and then also the disposition of those requests — whether they ended up being a preliminary assessment, whereby there is no issue, or something that went to an investigation that we conducted all the way through to whether or not we in- volved the police in the matter.

i think we have some statistics, given how long it takes for things to go through to a legal process, of what has gone through to court and been successful.

J. Doyle: it's always very dicult to work out what the savings would be. i think it's almost an impossible pro- cess, unless you get a megafraud that you identify. You can work out what the cost is but not what the savings are.

  • ere is a series of principles when it comes to audit,

particularly internal audit, which is that the cost of the controls should in some way relate to the avoidance of cost that may be incurred, and that those have continu- ally got to be held in balance. nothing can replace a good structure of internal control that is actively man- aged by line management, and nothing can replace the condence that individuals can have to say: "i think there's something wrong here, and i need to tell some- one about it."

  • ose are not necessarily very expensive things to do.

  • ey are a natural part of protecting of the assets that

is in management 101. Some of these things that have been put into place do statistical analysis and overview of specic areas to try and detect aberrations in trans- actions and so on.

i don't think you can actually approach the issue from what the savings are. i think you need to approach it from the point of view of what's appropriate in the pub- lic sector.

  • ere is a very low tolerance for fraud in the pub-

lic sector. most management within the public sector would think that someone removing a few hundred dol- lars would be quite inappropriate, whereas in the private sector you'd just be given a black bag and told to move on. in the private sector it's a big deal.

it's getting the balance right between what is useful and appropriate and is a natural part of everything that we do, and then what needs to be done in the way of overview, but i don't think we can approach it from the savings perspective.

K. Corrigan: fair enough.

[1350]

V. Huntington: firstly, i found the report extremely interesting and, i think, a very valuable one for gov- ernment as a whole, institutions as a whole. let me say again that this isn't pointing ngers at any government. it is a broad-based realization that there are principles

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