Department of Human Services

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Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

The DHS Risk Management and Audit Committee (RMAC) provides independent assurance and assistance to the Chief Executive (and the Executive Leadership Team) on DHS’s risk, control and compliance framework, and its financial statement responsibilities.

The Committee 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 also oversees the focus and work undertaken by Internal Audit.

RMAC members are appointed by the Chief Executive with the current Committee comprising three members external to the department and two internal members.

The membership as at 30 June 2022 was:

  • Carolyn Mitchell, Chair (external member)
  • Jo King (external member)
  • Elizabeth Moran (external member)
  • Sue-Ann Charlton (internal member)
  • Alex Reid (internal member).

The Committee met five times during the 2021–22 financial year.

The objective of Internal Audit is to undertake audit activities that:

  • provide reasonable assurance over the adequacy and effectiveness of controls and processes in place to manage departmental risks
  • identify opportunities to strengthen control weaknesses and contribute to the delivery of the department’s 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 the primary investigative body within DHS. It 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 care concern investigations, Critical Client Incidents, Independent Commissioner Against Corruption referrals, and requests for information under the National Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. While investigations are primarily undertaken by the IMU, they 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

5

Incidents related to missing property

2

False or misleading documentation

2

Misuse of government resources 12

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

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The department 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 DHS Fraud and Corruption Control Framework addresses the processes for responding to and reporting incidents of fraud and corruption within the department. It aligns with the South Australian Government Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and summarises responsibilities of key areas.

During 2021–22, the department’s Executive Leadership Team established five high-level strategic decision-making sub-committees to support its functions. The Assurance Committee is accountable to the Executive Leadership Team for ensuring DHS meets all of its governance requirements and measures performance against deliverables.

The responsibilities of the Assurance Committee include:

  • overseeing corporate governance and ensuring effective internal controls, including receiving reports from across all divisions and approving the annual internal audit workplan
  • effectively monitoring, managing, and reporting on risks, internal audit findings and breaches to ensure compliance.

The Assurance Committee also has an overarching oversight role in ensuring the department is implementing and actioning RMAC recommendations.

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

Public interest disclosure

Public interest disclosure

2021–22

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 - Annual Reporting - DHS 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 July 2019.

Page last updated : 21 Oct 2022

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