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Reporting fraud

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30 June 2021

Fraud is a significant threat to the integrity of our schemes and the credibility of the markets that we operate. It is defined as ‘dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing a loss by deception or other means ’ (as per Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017 ). Fraud is intentional; it requires an intent to obtain a benefit (tangible or intangible) or cause a loss to the agency. It is not the result of carelessness, accident, or error.

If you suspect that someone may be committing fraud against our schemes, or you suspect fraud or corruption by our staff, we encourage you to report it.

Contents

How to report fraud

If you suspect fraud, reports can be made by:

  • lodging a report via the Online Reporting Tool
  • if you are unable to lodge a report via the Online Reporting Tool, you can contact us
  • accessing the Online Reporting Tool via QR Code:
    QR code for the Online Reporting Tool


In general, to assist us in assessing and properly investigating your allegation, you should include:

  • details of the alleged wrongdoing
  • who committed the alleged wrongdoing
  • when and where the alleged wrongdoing occurred
  • relevant events surrounding the issue
  • if you did anything in response to the wrongdoing
  • others who know about the wrongdoing and have allowed it to continue
  • if you’re concerned about possible reprisals as a result of making your disclosure
  • any supporting documentation and/or any witnesses
  • your name and contact details, unless you want to be anonymous.

What happens to your report

The Clean Energy Regulator takes all reports of suspected fraud seriously. Our specialist officers assess every allegation of fraud and, where appropriate, investigate it. The more information you can provide, the better we are able to look into the matter.

If we find enough evidence of criminal behaviour, we may take further steps. We may refer cases to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. This may lead to criminal charges and jail.

In some cases, we may not take any further action or may refer the matter to another area to review. For example, we may find any of the following:

  • there isn’t enough information in the report to identify the person involved
  • an assessment of the facts identifies that the matter referred is not fraud
  • an assessment of the facts identifies that the matter is best dealt with under another process
  • the report is considered vexatious or malicious
  • the matter has been previously reported and investigated.

Due to privacy restrictions and/or the integrity of any investigation, feedback is not usually provided to the individual making a report. Please note that if your allegation involves another individual, we will not be able to give you any information about the conduct or outcome of the investigation due to our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.

What is fraud and corruption

Fraud is defined as ‘dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing a loss by deception or other means’ (as per Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017). Fraud is intentional; it requires an intent to obtain a benefit (tangible or intangible) or cause a loss to the agency. It is not the result of carelessness, accident, or error.

Fraud can be perpetrated internally (by staff or contractors of the Clean Energy Regulator) or externally (by service providers, contractors, individual recipients of agency funding or organised crime groups). There is also a combination of internal and external fraud, which is known as complex fraud.

Corruption is defined as ‘dishonest activity in which an employee, manager or contractor of an entity acts contrary to the interest of the entity and abuses their position of trust in order to achieve some personal gain or advantage for themselves’ (as per standard AS/NZ 8001:2008 Fraud and Corruption Control).

Examples of fraud and corruption

Examples of fraud and corruption include:

External:

  • providing false or misleading information in an application to the Clean Energy Regulator
  • misusing Obligation Transfer Numbers (OTNs) or using bogus OTNs
  • making a false entry into a Registry
  • offering or giving bribes, gifts, entertainment, or anything else of value to obtain a benefit
  • inflating invoices for services, or invoicing for services not provided.

Internal (by our staff):

  • falsification of qualifications or experience to gain employment
  • seeking, giving, or taking bribes, gifts, entertainment or anything else of value from people providing goods or services to the Clean Energy Regulator
  • manipulating recruitment, procurement, or grant processes
  • collusion or conspiracy between internal and external parties
  • misuse of corporate resources (such as corporate credit cards)
  • improperly disclosing government information to benefit them or someone else.


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