Department of Human Services

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Risk Management

Risk and audit at a glance

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 ensuring accountabilities are met. The Committee oversees the focus of and receives reports from Internal Audit.

RMAC members are appointed by the Chief Executive with the Chair being an independent external member. In 2020–21, two new external members joined the Committee following the resignation of long-standing members. Furthermore, two internal members changed, with the change of membership invigorating and bringing new focus to RMAC.

Internal Audit undertake audit activities that provide assurance over the 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 and maladministration in the course of their work. This includes assessment of current control environments to ensure effective protection against fraud and maladministration as a standard objective of most of their reviews.

The Incident Management Unit (IMU) 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. Investigations are undertaken primarily by the IMU; however, investigations may be assigned to Internal Audit where appropriate.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud

Number of instances

Incidents related to discrepancies in clients’ funds


Incidents related to missing property


False or misleading documentation


NB: 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.

In November 2019, the department established a Corruption and Fraud Prevention Committee as a sub-committee of the Executive Leadership Team. The Committee meets quarterly and was established to strengthen the department’s response to, and prevention of, fraud and corruption. The Committee monitors and oversees prevention control mechanisms across the agency and provides regular reports to the Executive.

During 2020–21, the Committee undertook a detailed fraud risk assessment across the department. This involved consultation with all DHS divisions to identify any control weaknesses or potential threats of fraud or corruption.

The Corruption and Fraud Prevention Committee also oversees the annual fraud and corruption awareness week. Each year the department identifies a week when it promotes the prevention of fraud and corruption. This involves daily bulletins to staff via the DHS intranet on various aspects of potential fraud.

Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA - DHS Annual Report - Annual report data

Public interest disclosure

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:



Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA - DHS Annual Report - Annual report data

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 1/7/2019.

Page last updated : 17 Feb 2022

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