Fraud prevention or fraud risk?: CCC report into QPS Project Synergy tabled in Parliament - 8 December 2016
A Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) report titled Fraud prevention or fraud risk? A report on an investigation into the Queensland Police Service’s Project Synergy was tabled in State Parliament this afternoon.
On 5 August 2016, the CCC completed its investigation into the management and operation of Project Synergy, a fraud prevention project of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group (FCCG) of the Queensland Police Service (QPS). [See previous media statement]
The CCC determined to issue a public report because the investigation identified broad organisational issues within the QPS that have relevance to the wide public sector, in particular to identifying fraud risks relating to sponsorship and conference management.
CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC said sponsorship opportunities can provide a valuable opportunity for all parties involved but they must be assessed and managed carefully.
“When not managed appropriately, sponsorship can present risks to public sector organisations which must strive to obtain best value for money, act transparently, encourage open and effective competition and use public funds efficiently,” Mr MacSporran said.
“The CCC did not identify any criminal conduct but its investigation found Project Synergy officers did not manage the risk appropriately, never conducted a risk assessment, financial delegations were not adhered to and internal records were incomplete or inaccurate.”
The CCC has made four formal recommendations including an audit of the public sector to determine compliance with the Queensland Government Sponsorship Policy and Guidelines, the Queensland Audit Office to further examine FCCG and Project Synergy, and for the QPS to ensure events where sponsorship is received are audited by an external auditor.
The CCC also made ten procedural recommendations to the QPS as part of the investigation to improve transparency and compliance with a range of internal policies and procedures.
“The QPS has already taken steps to address a number of the issues identified in the CCC’s investigation which is pleasing,” Mr MacSporran said.
“December 9 marks International Anti-Corruption Day. In the lead up to this important day, I hope this report will help all public sector agencies identify fraud risks and remind them of their obligations before they enter into sponsorship agreements ensuring Queenslanders receive the best possible value for money.”
The report is available from the CCC’s website at: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/research-and-publications .