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Fraud Control

What is Fraud?

The University has adopted the following definition:-

"Dishonestly obtaining or attempting to obtain a benefit or advantage for any person or dishonestly causing or attempting to cause a detriment to the University of Adelaide or its Controlled Entities".

Conduct that sits within the University's definition of fraud includes:

  • Theft of cash or University property, equipment and software 
  • Misuse of the corporate credit card
  • Exaggerating or making fictitious accident, harassment or injury claims
  • Falsifying time records
  • Dishonest use of Intellectual Property
  • Using University-paid travel for a private purpose
  • Misuse of sick or family leave
  • Knowingly creating or using forged or falsified documents
  • Receiving or giving kickbacks or secret commissions to or from third parties

Fraud may be perpetrated by staff or  by persons outside the University (e.g. contractors), or  involve a combination of both. It can involve financial and non-financial incidents  impacting the daily business,and reputation, of the University.

Undetected incidents of fraud are often associated with a failure to recognise and respond to early warning signs, or because of uncertainty as to how, and when, to report suspected fraudulent conduct. The online Fraud Control Induction for  staff will assist University personnel improve their awareness of the potential for fraud and  hopefully deter fraud in the workplace.

Fraud Control Policy

The Fraud Control Policy and Fraud Control Plan are part of the University’s overall Risk Management Framework. The University's approach  in addressing fraudulent conduct is founded on this Policy and Plan.

The Policy applies across the University’s academic, research and support activities, as well as to the University’s Controlled Entities.

The University has zero tolerance to fraud. All instances of fraud will be investigated. Fraud may constitute a criminal offence and also give rise to a civil liability under State and Commonwealth laws. .

Fraudulent behaviour also constitutes serious misconduct under the Enterprise Agreement.

The Obligation to Report

Both the University and staff have obligations to report potential fraud  and are required to act reasonably and in good faith prior to, and after, reporting.

The University's Fraud Control Officer (General Counsel) is the contact point for reporting  suspected fraud and will initiate investigations in accordance with the Policy. General Counsel provides legal advice and remains objective and independent in conducting or managing investigations. Anyone  who suspects fraudulent or illegal conduct in the workplace, should feel comfortable to approach General Counsel to report their suspicions confidentially.

The Whistleblower Protection Act 1993 (SA) provides that the identity of a person who reports potential fraudulent conduct ("the whistleblower") is kept confidential to protect that person from being sued or prosecuted for disclosing such information.

For more information about whistleblower provisions in the University context, refer to Whistleblower Protection.

How to Make a Report

If you become aware of activity that you reasonably suspect or know is fraudulent, illegal or improper, please report it as soon as possible.

  • Reports may be directed to your  Head of School or Branch or an Executive Dean.
  • You may also  report  directly to the University’s Fraud Control Officer by email ( or by telephone (08) 8313 6080 to arrange a meeting.
  • In the event of the allegation involving the General Counsel or one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors or Vice-Presidents, refer the incident directly to the Vice-Chancellor and President. In accordance with the Fraud Control Plan, all reports will be escalated internally and externally as appropriate.
  • Employees of a University of Adelaide Controlled Entity are also encouraged to report suspected incidents either to the Chair of the company  or to the University’s Fraud Control Officer.

Tips on Reporting

  • Disclosure of information to the Fraud Control Officer directly is preferable, as meetings will be in person and in private.
  • Reporting via email is good too, because it can seem less daunting and is a useful way of organising the facts of the matter before discussing them in person. 
  • Anonymous letters or reports should be avoided  as they are difficult to act on  and generally fail to disclose  sufficient or specific information to even start an investigation.

When making  a report under whistleblower provisions, you are expected to act in good faith and reasonably  and ensure the information you  disclose is legitimate and true.

Fraud Control Officer

Celine McInerney
General Counsel
Ph: 8313 6080


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