This Factsheet provides information about the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) fraud investigation process.
What is Fraud?
Fraud is ‘dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means’ as defined under the Resource Management Guide No. 201 - Preventing, detecting and dealing with fraud. DVA has statutory fraud control obligations under section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.
Circumstances that can result in incorrect payments or possible fraudulent activity include:
- submitting false claims that could result in benefits;
- service pension recipients failing to advise of a change in financial circumstances;
- pension recipients working more than prescribed hours;
- submitting false travel claims; and
- contractors (including medical and allied health providers) submitting false claims for the payment of goods and/or services which have not been provided or provided inappropriately.
How does DVA receive information about fraud?
DVA receives information about potential allegations of fraud in many ways, including:
- emails received via the fraud allegation email address at email@example.com
- telephone calls to DVA’s Veteran Access Network (VAN) Offices and other DVA business groups;
- Completing the online Reporting Fraud form;
- reports made at DVA offices;
- letters sent to DVA offices;
- letters sent to the Minister/s and Members of Parliament; and
- through data sharing with other Government Departments.
How do I report suspected fraud to DVA?
You can report suspected fraud to DVA by:
- sending an email to the fraud allegation inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org
- sending a letter to DVA, GPO Box 9998, YOUR CAPITAL CITY; or
- phoning DVA using the details listed under More Information at the end of this Factsheet.
Can I remain anonymous when making an allegation or disclosure about fraud?
Yes. When referring an allegation of fraud or making a disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013, you can remain anonymous. DVA will keep your identity confidential and will not trace the origin of an anonymous allegation or disclosure. However, an investigation may not proceed if the allegation or disclosure does not contain enough information and DVA are unable to contact you for further information.
You can provide your contact details if you are willing to be contacted by an investigator or authorised officer. Your identity will not be revealed without your consent.
Will I be told about the outcome of the allegation of fraud?
No. Due to restrictions under the Privacy Act 1988, the Department will not provide any form of comment or update on the status of allegations made.
Where an investigation is conducted and the findings relate to business process or operational improvements, the Department may advise you of the outcome. However, where the findings relate to an individual, the Department will not inform you due to restrictions under the Privacy Act 1988.
Who conducts investigations in DVA?
Investigations are carried out by qualified DVA staff. They will identify themselves as being from DVA and provide information to support their identity. In some cases, DVA may seek assistance from the Australian Federal Police, state police or qualified experts.
How will I be treated if I am the subject of an investigation?
If you are contacted in the course of an investigation you will be:
- treated in a professional, considerate and respectful manner in accordance with our Service Charter and the Privacy Act 1988;
- kept fully informed of your rights and obligations; and
- advised of any significant delays in the processing of your matter.
There may be a need to make adjustments to your benefits during an investigation to ensure that the correct entitlement is being received. If an adjustment occurs we will assist you in understanding your rights, obligations and consequences of your new entitlement.
If you feel that you need support during the investigation process, you can advise the investigator and/or contact the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 046.
What if I want to make a complaint about an investigation?
You can make a complaint about an investigation directly to that investigator, or you can ask to speak to the investigator’s manager.
If you feel that your complaint has not been addressed, you can write to the:
People Services Branch
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
GPO Box 9998 Canberra 2601
If you are still unhappy with the handling of your complaint, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362 072 or by email at email@example.com
The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.
DVA General Enquiries
Metro Phone: 133 254 *
Regional Phone: 1800 555 254 *
DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au
Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets
* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.