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Queensland local governments are exposed to high risks of fraud and corruption because of the large volume of goods and services they procure, often from local suppliers; and because of high degree of devolved decision making vested in local governments.

For this reason, all local governments are responsible for preventing, detecting and reporting fraud in order to protect revenue, expenditure and property. It is imperative that each local government identify and monitor fraud risk and implement rigour and controls around their identified risk through an active fraud and corruption framework.

Under the Local Government Regulation 2012 and the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012, local governments are required to report fraud losses, to keep written records of alleged and proven fraud-related losses to both the Auditor-General and the Minister for Local Government.

In order to effectively manage fraud management in local governments, local governments must:

  • keep written records of both alleged and proven losses arising from fraud (including money)
  • keep written records of material losses (other than those arising from an offence or corrupt conduct)
  • report, within six months, a material loss as a result of fraud to the Minister and the Auditor-General and in certain circumstances, to the police or the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Local governments must note that material loss for all other local governments (excluding Brisbane City Council), under the Local Government Regulation 2012 means:

  • for money – a loss of more than $500
  • for any other asset – a loss valued at more than $1,000 (considered appropriate as local government frauds are likely to involve amounts less than $5,000.

A material loss for Brisbane City Council, under the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 means:

  • for money – a loss of more than $500
  • given the size of Brisbane City Council, the threshold for material losses for any other asset, other than money, is $5,000.