Fraud strategy

The NDIA’s fraud control arrangements are there to protect the Scheme and the NDIA from being misused. The NDIA and Commonwealth Government will not tolerate fraud or the misuse of funds meant to support people with disability.

We must all work together to control fraud and manage public resources. We have mobilised our staff to respond to suspected fraud and we are embedding Scheme integrity in our activities to ensure participants are protected, and continue to have choice and control when accessing the supports they need through their NDIS Plan.

To support fraud prevention, the Agency has also developed the Compliance and Enforcement Framework. The Compliance and Enforcement Framework details the Agency’s compliance approach, enforcement objectives, activities, and roles and responsibilities.

What is fraud?

The Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017 defines fraud as 'Dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss by deception or other means.'

In other words, fraud is a crime. It requires intent, which is more than carelessness, accident or error. When intent cannot be shown, an incident may be called non-compliant rather than fraud. 

To classify an activity as fraud, it must be deliberate, and lead to a direct, or indirect benefit or advantage, to an individual or group. A benefit is not restricted to a material benefit, and may be tangible or intangible, including information. The benefit, or advantage, may not necessarily be for the person committing the fraud; a benefit may be obtained by a third party.

Fraud in the NDIS and NDIA

Here are some example of what fraud could look like in the NDIS or NDIA.

Fraud inside the NDIA could look like:

  • theft
  • unlawful disclosure of official information
  • accounting fraud (e.g. false invoices, misappropriation)
  • fraudulently claiming leave, travel and other entitlements
  • misuse of assets, equipment or other facilities

Fraud in the NDIS could look like:

  • obtaining and using Agency information, or restricted data
  • providing false information 
  • making claims for payment for services or products that were not provided
  • use of non-genuine/fraudulent documents 
  • theft.

Consequences of fraud

The NDIA has a zero tolerance for fraud. Any amount of fraud is unacceptable.

Fraud committed against the NDIS, or the NDIA, poses a risk to the future of the scheme. People looking to take advantage of the NDIS or NDIA should be aware that fraud is a crime. All suspected fraud matters escalated to NDIA's Investigation teams are investigated, and there are serious consequences for fraud and employee misconduct.

Employees may be referred for Code of Conduct assessments and, if appropriate, prosecution. 

People or organisations found to be committing fraud against the NDIS will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

How NDIA prevents and controls fraud

The Agency’s fraud control strategy includes the following activities:

  • Prevent: use controls to prevent fraud from happening in the first instance
  • Detect: find fraud that may be happening through a variety of methods
  • Investigate and respond: where fraud is found, investigate, analyse, and make an appropriate response 
  • Monitor and report: track improvements and keep the appropriate people informed.

Fraud prevention strategies are our first line of defence, we work with other agencies, and promote:

  • strong fraud awareness  by staff, contractors and providers
  • stakeholders' awareness of their rights, responsibilities and obligations in relation to fraud and fraud reporting;
  • regular reviews and evaluations of fraud awareness raising and education materials;
  • continuous improvement of effective fraud controls; and
  • an ethical culture.

Our responsibilities

The NDIA has a responsibility to protect the scheme for future generations of Australians by preventing fraud. We regularly check the strength of our fraud and corruption control through risk assessments and by keep the Agency’s Fraud and Corruption Control Plan up-to-date.

The Fraud and Corruption Control Plan (the Plan) is a document that outlines how the agency is meeting its responsibilities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, and the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017.

The Plan identifies key fraud risks, and by stating the NDIA fraud and corruption control strategy, provides assurance that the NDIA appropriately manages those risks. 

How NDIA handles confidential information

NDIS Participants, their families and carers, providers, the Australian community and governments expect the highest standards when it comes to integrity, privacy protection and efficacy in preventing fraud. These are responsibilities the NDIA does not take lightly; NDIA handles information in strict confidence, information is gathered and held securely. A Fraud Reporting mailbox and dedicated telephone line is in place to support detection. All reports of suspected fraud undergo an assessment to determine appropriate next steps.

Only qualified staff undertake investigations. Investigations undertaken by the Agency comply with:

  • requirements of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017
  • Australian Government Investigation Standards.

The NDIA may refer investigations to the Australian Federal Police:

  • for specific powers or capabilities, or
  • if deemed necessary due to the nature of the suspected fraud.

How to report fraud

Everyone has a responsibility to report suspected fraud. If you suspect someone may be committing fraud against the NDIA or NDIS you should report it. Your report will be kept confidential, and your rights are protected by law.

You can report suspected fraud by calling the NDIS fraud reporting and scams helpline on 1800 650 717 or by emailing: [email protected]

Public officials can report suspected wrongdoing in the Australian public sector through the Public Interest Disclosure (PID) scheme. Information on the Australian Government's Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013, the protection from reprisal action it offers to 'whistleblowers' and how to make a PID is available to staff in the NDIA's Fraud Control Plan and on our intranet site. 

Where to go for more information

Visit the 'Reporting suspected fraud' page for information on how and what to report.

Additional information in relation to the Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is available on the Commonwealth Ombudsman website (external) .

For information on scams, and how to protect yourself from scams, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website (external)  and Scam Watch (external) .

This page current as of
13 November 2020