Fraud and Corruption Policy

1. Introduction
2. Roles and responsibilities
3. Disciplinary procedures
4. Review of policy
5. Definitions
6. History

1. Introduction

1. The RACP connects, trains, and represents 28,000 medical specialists and trainee specialists from 33 different specialties across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The College enters thousands of contracts and financial arrangements annually, dealing with Fellows, trainees, CPD participants, Overseas Trained Physicians and Paediatricians, suppliers, and Government agencies.

2. Transparency International publish an annual index of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries and territories from all over the globe. The 2020 index lists Aotearoa New Zealand first out of 180 in openness and honesty, and Australia eleventh, equivalent to the UK, Canada, and Hong Kong.

3. Fraud represents 40% of the cost of all crime in Australia1. Organisations can lose up to 5% of their annual revenue due to fraud, bribery and corruption varying between industries2.

4. Fraud and corruption are regulated by several laws in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, including the Australian Commonwealth and State criminal codes, Corporations legislation, the Companies Act 1993 (AoNZ), the Crimes Act 1961 (AoNZ), and common law.

1 Australian Institute of Criminology 'Counting the Costs of Crime in Australia'
2 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners '2020 Global Fraud Study'

1.1 Fraud and corruption

1. Fraud involves dishonestly obtaining or trying to obtain a benefit or advantage for any person, or dishonestly causing or trying to cause a loss to the RACP by deception or other means. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. theft of money or other property, regardless of whether deception is involved
  2. false invoicing (creating a fictitious invoice claiming payment for goods or services not delivered or exaggerating the value of goods delivered or services provided)
  3. false accounting/accounts receivable fraud (misappropriation or misdirection of remittances received from a debtor or paid to a vendor)
  4. unauthorised use of a credit card or credit card number issued to another person
  5. deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a normal business purpose
  6. improper use of information or position for personal benefit
  7. misuse of position to gain some form of financial advantage

2. Corruption is a dishonest action in which a director, executive or staff member of the RACP acts contrary to the interests of the College and abuses their position of trust to achieve some personal gain or advantage for themselves or another person or entity.

The concept of corruption can also involve corrupt conduct by the College or by a person purporting to act on behalf of and in the interests of the College to secure some form of improper advantage for the College, either directly or indirectly. Examples that constitute corrupt behaviour include but are not limited to:

  1. offer, payment, solicitation or receipt of secret commissions, bribes, and kickbacks, which may be paid in money or another form of value and which may relate to a specific decision or action by the receiver or generally
  2. release of confidential information for other than a proper business purpose in exchange for some form of nonfinancial benefit or advantage accruing to the persons releasing the data
  3. collusive tendering (the act of multiple tenderers for a particular contract colluding in preparation of their bids)
  4. payment or solicitation of donations for an improper political purpose
  5. serious conflict of interest involving a member of the Senior Leadership Team, manager, employee, or Director of the RACP acting in their self-interest rather than the interests of the RACP
  6. serious nepotism and cronyism where the appointee is inadequately qualified to perform the role to which they have been appointed
  7. manipulation of the procurement process by selectively providing information to some bidders and not to others
  8. receipt or the making of gifts or entertainment intended to achieve a specific or generic commercial outcome
  9. causing, contributing to, or being directly linked to modern slavery (defined broadly as all forms of human trafficking, forced labour and slavery-like practices), which can be closely linked to corruption or fraud
  10. bribing government officials (locally or in foreign jurisdictions) for any reason, including securing a contract to supply goods or services
1.2 RACP’s attitude to fraud and corruption

1. The RACP is committed to establishing and maintaining an organisational culture of integrity and ethical behaviour and has a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude towards fraud and corruption.

2. The purpose of this policy is to provide a context for managing and reducing the risks of fraud and corruption in the context of RACP operations in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and internationally.

3. The RACP is committed to implementing a Fraud and Corruption Management Framework compatible with AS 8001:2021 Fraud and Corruption.

1.3 Fraud and Corruption Control System

1. RACP takes a proactive, risk management approach to the assessment, prevention, detection, and investigation of suspected fraudulent and corrupt activity in decision-making, business processes, management practices, internal controls, and related actions.

2. The Fraud and Corruption Control Framework (Framework) includes an ongoing system of training, regular risk assessment and reporting to ensure that Senior Leadership and the Finance and Risk Management Committee regularly review exposure to fraud risk.

3. The Framework identifies potential risks and sources of fraud and corruption within the RACP.

4. The audit program undertakes regular internal and external audits of control systems and practices for detecting and dealing with illegal, fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, or unethical conduct.  This includes undertaking risk assessments and compliance reporting.

5. The Finance and Risk Management Committee endorse the Framework, which includes this Fraud and Corruption Policy and accompanying Framework Document, together with the following documents:

  1. Constitution of the RACP
  2. Code of Conduct
  3. The Whistleblower Policy
  4. Working Together Policy
  5. Standard Contract of Employment

2. Roles and responsibilities

1. The Board and Senior Leadership are responsible for fraud and corruption control at the RACP. Indicative responsibilities of specific roles are set out in this section. The description of duties is not intended to be definitive.

2.1 Directors

1. The Board must ensure that management implements a sound system of fraud and corruption management and internal control which, in all material respects, implements the policies adopted by the Board.

2. Directors will set the tone at the top by championing the College’s fraud and corruption management processes and encouraging the right attitude to fraud and corruption management amongst Fellows, trainees, and staff.

3. The Board acknowledges the importance of ensuring that matters within the scope of this Policy are dealt with under the Policy, the principles of procedural fairness, and the overriding obligations imposed by applicable law.

4. The Board, and each individual director, will take all reasonable steps to assist the Whistleblower Protection Officer and General Counsel to discharge their duties.

2.2 Finance and Risk Management Committee

1. Monitoring the implementation of the risk management framework by:

  1. receiving reports from management, external and internal auditors, legal counsel, regulators, and consultants as appropriate
  2. monitoring the fraud and corruption risk register

2. Reporting to the Board concerning the management of fraud and corruption risks within the College.

3. Assessing whether the College’s fraud and corruption management processes continually adapt to reflect the changing environment.

2.3 Chief Executive Officer (supported by the Risk and Compliance Manager)

1. Ensuring that the fraud and corruption management policy and framework are understood, adopted, complied with, and effective at all levels of the College.

2. Championing the College’s fraud and corruption management processes and encouraging the right attitude to fraud and corruption management amongst directors, officers, employees, Fellows, and trainees.

3. Making any reports and disclosures relating to fraud and corruption required by law or regulation.

2.4 Senior Leadership Team

1. Ensuring that:

  1. all fraud and corruption risks in their areas of responsibility are identified, understood, and responded to following the fraud and corruption policy and framework
  2. internal control systems in their areas of responsibility operate effectively
  3. any inconsistencies, conflicts, and gaps in the College’s fraud and corruption management activities and internal control systems are identified and addressed
  4. new and emerging risks are identified, assessed and responded to as appropriate
  5. assigning ownership of fraud and corruption risks and control activities
2.5 College bodies, heads of programs, projects and functions

1. Identify potential fraud and corruption risks and advise the relevant member of Senior Management accordingly.

2. Managing risk as it arises in their area(s) of responsibility.

3. Comply with all College policies, frameworks, and guidelines, including the:

  1. Fraud and Corruption Policy
  2. Risk Management Policy
  3. Code of Conduct

4. Be aware of and accountable for their allocated risks, controls, and treatment tasks.

2.6 Risk and Compliance Manager

1.Supporting the CEO in ensuring that the:

  1. directives of the CEO and the Senior Leadership Group are implemented and followed
  2. fraud and corruption management framework are understood and coordinated across the College
  3. fraud and corruption management processes are implemented and working effectively
  4. collation and recording of fraud and corruption risks identified and treatment strategies in the Risk Register
  5. educating Board, management, and employees on fraud and corruption management principles and procedures
  6. monitoring of compliance with the fraud and corruption management processes, and reporting to the Finance and Risk Management Committee
  7. supporting program and business managers in their fraud and corruption management responsibilities by:
    1. providing advice on appropriate fraud and corruption management procedures and measurement methodologies throughout the College
    2. assisting in the identification of stakeholders and parties affected by potential fraud and corruption risks
    3. reviewing fraud and corruption risk analyses and risk treatment plans prepared by management, challenging the bases of assumptions, and advising on potential treatment strategies before submission for approval by the Risk Owner
    4. coordinating and monitoring the provision and completion of fraud and corruption training by all relevant personnel
    5. ensuring that processes are in place to notify partner organisations of our expectations of their capacity and processes on fraud and corruption awareness
    6. ensuring processes are in place to monitor the probity of procurement procedures
2.7 Whistleblower Protection Officers

1.Receiving notifications of improper conduct.

2. Ensuring incidents are appropriately investigated and appropriate action is taken where preliminary inquiries suggest that there appears to be a reasonable basis for the allegations.

3. Ensuring that investigations are undertaken professionally and competently depending on the nature, size, and complexity of the matter.

2.8 All staff

1. Whether paid or voluntary, are responsible for and accountable to the RACP to prevent and report any illegal, fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, or unethical conduct within the RACP as part of their everyday responsibilities.

2. Whether paid or voluntary, must report concerns or information provided to them about the possible illegal, fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, or unethical activity of any director, officer, employee, Fellow, trainee, contract-worker, consultant, supplier, partner organisation or any other party associated with the RACP.

3. All reports should be made following the RACP Whistleblower Policy including to the Whistleblower Protection Officer by emailing or by contacting the whistleblower hotline.

4. Reporting to the sponsors within the timeframes set out in the funding agreements if alleged illegal, fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, or unethical conduct identified relates to donor funds.

3. Disciplinary procedures

1. Any breach of this Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy may result in disciplinary action, termination of employment, or criminal prosecution and may have severe consequences for all parties involved.

2. All directors, officers, employees, Fellows, and trainees have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption under the Whistleblower Policy.

4. Review of policy

This policy will be reviewed every 2 years or as required in the event of legislative changes or requirements. The policy may also be changed because of other amendments.

Staff and members of the College may provide feedback about this document by emailing 

5. Definitions

Term Meaning
'Board' The Board of Directors of the College.
'Benefit' Both tangible items like money or objects and intangible benefits like power, status, or information.
'College' The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, CAN 000 039 047, an incorporated body limited by guarantee.
'College Body'
  • the council of each Division or Faculty of the College
  • the committee of each Chapter formed within a Division or Faculty
  • each Board committee
  • each committee, sub-committee, working group, expert advisory group, or other sub-group formed under the auspices of any of the above, whether limited in time or purpose
'Contract worker' Any person or company (other than a volunteer or employee) performing work for or on behalf of the College, including their employees or subcontractors.
'Corruption' The offering, giving, soliciting, or acceptance of an inducement or reward that may improperly influence the action of a person or entity. Examples of corruption include bribery, conspiracy, and extortion.
'Fraud' Dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing a loss by deception or other means.
'Fellow', 'Trainee' and 'Member'
Have the same meaning as in the College Constitution.
'Staff' Any person conducting work for the College, including:
  • employee of the College
  • consultant
  • contractor worker
  • employee of a labour-hire company assigned to work in the College
'Volunteer' A person acting voluntarily (irrespective of whether the person receives out-of-pocket expenses).

6. History

Revision Effective date Summary of changes Policy Writer/s
1.0 31 March 2022 First approved Risk and Compliance Manager
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