Recruitment a key corruption risk in public sector

Recruitment practices are particularly vulnerable to corruption as managers fail to properly validate the background of candidates, IBAC warns.

The importance of adequately checking new employee backgrounds and ensuring good supervision was discussed at IBAC’s latest forum aimed at preventing corruption in the public sector.

The forum, specifically targeted to public sector human resource managers and senior human resource practitioners, provided examples of common corruption risks and techniques to reduce corruption risks in their field.

“Recruitment practices can be particularly vulnerable to corruption risks. In our investigations we have seen several examples of managers failing to properly validate the background of candidates and the unfortunate practice of ‘recycling’ problematic employees,” CEO Alistair Maclean said.

“Poor management, supervision and culture can also contribute to corruption and misconduct – which ultimately leads to a loss of confidence in the public service.”

The forum featured speakers from IBAC, the Victorian Ombudsman, the Victorian Public Sector Commission and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority.

Geoff Crawford presents at HR forum

IBAC’s Principal Advisor (Fraud), Geoff Crawford, ran a workshop where the 36 participants explored the key themes of the day: building reporting cultures

  • building manager’s capacity to supervise effectively
  • identifying and managing the aggregated impact of low-level frauds
  • recruiting from the private to public sector
  • issues arising from Fitzroy.

Participants rose to the challenge of exploring corruption risks associated with the exercise of their functions, and how they might mitigate corruption risks in other business areas of their organisations. They identified that recruitment processes, pre-employment screening, induction, training and the code of conduct were significant tools in their armoury.

Following the forum, Mr Crawford said he was “confident that the session resulted in a heightened awareness of corruption, the role of IBAC and the role that HR practitioners can play in reducing the incidence of corruption in Victoria in their respective agencies.”

Read more about the importance of recruitment processes in integrity frameworks in the public sector in our latest research.

27 January 2015