Managing fraud and corruption risks during the COVID-19 pandemic

Managing fraud and corruption risks during the COVID-19 pandemic

The NSW Office of Local Government has issued two new resources to assist NSW councils to manage the fraud and corruption risks associated with changes to operations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic:
o the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) Managing corrupt conduct during the COVID-19 outbreak, and
o theAustralianCyberSecurityCentre’sWebConferencingSecurity.

Councils are encouraged to consider these resources and to make any necessary changes to their operations and internal control framework.

Key points include:
• The risks of opportunistic and systemic fraud and corruption can become more prevalent during periods of significant disruption such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
• To assist agencies to address this risk, ICAC has issued Managing corrupt conduct during the COVID-19 outbreak. This provides guidance on fraud and corruption risks associated with:
o working from home
o procurement and purchasing
o cyber fraud and online hoaxes, and
o stimulus funding and new programs.
• The Australian Cyber Security Centre has also issued guidance on Web Conferencing Security. This provides guidance on the use of online web conferencing and collaboration tools and the management of associated privacy, security and legal risks.

Action
All Councils should read these two artefacts and ensure the controls set out in each are being met. A gap analysis is a good starting point to see where you stand. Thereafter, implement the missing controls based on your local risk profile.