Last updated: 28 May 2024

Fraud and corruption are unacceptable within the OAIC or in carrying out its work. The OAIC is committed to protecting its decision making, funding, expenditure, and property from any attempt, either by members of the public, contractors, sub-contractors, agents, intermediaries, or its own staff, to gain financial or other benefits, or to cause a loss, by deceit.

The OAIC takes all suspicions or allegations of fraud and corruption seriously.

Definitions of fraud and corruption

Fraud

Fraud is defined in the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017 as:

Dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing a loss by deception or other means.

A benefit is not restricted to a monetary or material benefit, and may be tangible or intangible, including the unauthorised access to or disclosure of information.

Corruption

Under the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022, a person engages in corrupt conduct if they are a public official and:

  • they breach public trust
  • they abuse their office or
  • they misuse information they have gained in their capacity as a public official.

A person also engages in corrupt conduct if something they do or have done could adversely affect the honest or impartial exercise of a public official’s powers or the honest or impartial performance of a public official’s functions and duties.

Conduct involving a public official may be corrupt conduct even if the conduct is not for the person’s personal benefit.

How do I report fraud or corruption to the OAIC?

You can provide information about suspected fraudulent activity or corrupt behaviour by OAIC staff or contractors, or against the OAIC, by completing this form. Please download and save the form prior to completing it.

Completed forms should be returned to integrity@oaic.gov.au or by mail to:

OAIC Integrity Unit
GPO Box 5288
Sydney NSW 2001

Please note this email address is only used for internal OAIC fraud and integrity matters.

Information regarding allegations of fraud or corruption against other Commonwealth government agencies must be reported directly to those agencies.

What information should be provided when making a report of fraud or corruption?

To enable the OAIC to assess any reported allegation of fraud or corruption, the following information should be provided, if possible:

  • details of parties involved with names, contact details and relevant positions/organisations
  • details of suspected fraudulent or corrupt actions or activities – including times, dates, locations, any financial implications of the suspected activity
  • how the suspected fraudulent or corrupt actions or activities were detected
  • any evidence relating to the suspicious activities
  • details of the person making the report (individuals may choose to remain anonymous).

What happens after a report is made to the OAIC?

Reports will be assessed by the agency and investigated as appropriate, which may involve referral to agencies such as the Australian Federal Police or the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Due to a range of reasons, including confidentiality, privacy restrictions and maintaining the integrity of the investigation, feedback or the outcome of any investigation may not always be provided to the individual making the report.

Privacy notice

Your personal information is protected by Australian law, including the Privacy Act 1988, and is collected by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) for the purpose of responding to and/or investigating allegations of suspected fraud or corruption.

If the information you provide does not relate to the activities or functions of the OAIC, we may disclose the information you provided to other Commonwealth, state or territory bodies (including law enforcement bodies) for appropriate assessment or action.

Your information may also be disclosed to other parties if required by any Australian law.

More information about how the OAIC manages your personal information and how to make a privacy complaint about how the OAIC has handled your information, can be found in the OAIC Privacy Policy.

Reporting to the National Anti-Corruption Commission

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is an independent body with functions and powers to prevent and investigate corruption in the Commonwealth government.

The NACC can investigate public officials if it is alleged that they:

  • adversely affect their own, or another public official’s honesty or impartiality in the way they carry out their official duties
  • breach public trust
  • abuse their office as a public official
  • misuse information they have gained in their capacity as a public official.

The NACC can consider referrals made by anyone in relation to a Commonwealth public official who is alleged to have engaged in corrupt conduct under the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Act 2022 which could involve serious or systemic corrupt conduct. More information on how to make a referral directly to the NACC is at www.nacc.gov.au.