The Australian Standard for fraud and corruption control defines fraud as:
'Dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity including theft of moneys or other property by employees or persons external to the entity and where deception is used at the time, immediately before or immediately following the activity. This also includes the deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a normal business purpose or the improper use of information or position for personal financial benefit.'
Whether it occurs in the public or the private sector, fraud has a number of negative effects.
It can result in significant financial losses and reputational damage, which is especially harmful in the public sector as it can impact on public trust in the integrity of government. Fraud can also have significant personal impacts on those affected by it.
The impact of fraud can be difficult to reverse, underscoring the importance of implementing effective prevention strategies at all levels of an organisation.