Department of Human Services

Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

The Incident Management Unit (IMU) was established through the centralisation of various functions across the department and is responsible for undertaking all investigations relating to potential fraud, misconduct or maladministration. This ensures consistency and efficiency in the department’s response to incidents and potential fraud and has strengthened controls and investigatory capacity.

The IMU is also responsible for coordinating correspondence and final reports to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) on investigations conducted by the department involving DHS staff and non-government organisations.

Internal Audit undertake audit activities that provide assurance over adequacy and effectiveness of controls and processes in place to manage departmental risks, and identify opportunities to strengthen control weaknesses and contribute to the delivery of DHS strategic objectives and services.

Internal Audit also considers the risk of fraud in their audit program. This includes assessment of the current control environment to ensure effective protection against fraud and maladministration as a standard objective for most audit reviews.

The DHS Risk Management and Audit Committee (RMAC) assists the Chief Executive in the identification of risks, determining priorities for action, developing and implementing strategies for effective risk management and in ensuring accountabilities are met. The Committee overseas the focus and work undertaken by Internal Audit.

RMAC members are appointed by the Chief Executive and include two members from within DHS and three external to the department. The RMAC Chair is an external member appointed by the Chief Executive.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud detected/reportedNumber of instances
Incidents related to discrepancies in clients' funds 9
Incidents related to missing property 9
Poor/inappropriate practices relating to misuse of clients' belongings and funds 2

Note: All the reported instances of fraud relate to discrepancies in Disability client funds and/or property in Accommodation Services. The total value of these incidents is approximately $2,000.

Note: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

DHS has a zero tolerance to fraud and maladministration with all incidents of discrepancies in client records, funds and/or property to be recorded on the internal DHS recording system.

The 2020–22 DHS Internal Audit Plan includes specific audit reviews of the DHS ‘Fraud and Corruption Control Environment’ and ‘Fraud Controls within Concessions’. These are currently in progress.

During 2019–20, a Corruption and Fraud Prevention Committee was established to strengthen the department’s response to, and prevention of, fraud and corruption. The purpose of the committee is to monitor and oversee prevention control mechanisms across DHS.

A new program is under development on ‘DHS fundamentals’. This will be available to all staff and will include training on a broad range of legislative and governance matters.

Data for previous years is available at Data SA under Government reporting and policy.

Public interest disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018: 0.

Data for previous years is available at Data SA under Government reporting and policy.

Note: Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1 July 2019.

Page last updated : 02 Dec 2020

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