Risk and audit at a glance

The Public Trustee has an Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) to provide independent assurance to the Public Trustee by overseeing and monitoring the risk and control frameworks, internal audit and external accountability requirements.

The Committee is responsible for approving a rolling three-year Internal Audit Plan that is delivered by the Public Trustee’s (outsourced) internal auditors and is developed with regard to the Public Trustee’s operational and enterprise risk registers.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraudNumber of instances
Suspected cheque tampering of the Public Trustee’s cheques issued to vendors on behalf of customers, (in addition to 3 similar incidents identified in 2018-19).
The incident was identified on 1 July 2019. The Public Trustee has implemented number of activities to reduce the ongoing risk of cheque tampering including reducing the number of cheques produced and implementing additional security around cheques that are generated. There was no financial loss as the cheque was detected and stopped prior to being honoured.
Suspected fraud/international theft involving hacking of an overseas beneficiary email account.
The circumstances of the incident have been investigated by the Public Trustee’s internal auditors with recommendations made to strengthen relevant controls and compliance with the Public Trustee’s operating procedures.
Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) allegation of Abuse of Public Office by a Public Trustee Estate Officer in the period 1 April 2004 to 11 October 2006.1

NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The Public Trustee has in place a number of management systems, policies, controls, training and procedures directed at preventing, detecting and minimising the risk of fraud.

The Public Trustee assesses the risk of fraud as part of its Risk Assessment Process, with identified risks reviewed at least annually. Fraud risk and control assessments are also conducted as part of the Public Trustee Internal Audit Plan.

An extensive review of fraud risks was also conducted in 2017 as part of the Independent Commissioner against Corruption’s Evaluation of the Practices, Policies and Procedures of the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee continued to implement the suggested changes as a result of this review, with all actions to address the nineteen recommendations complete by November 2019.

The actions taken have been validated by the Public Trustee’s internal auditors who confirmed they were complete and met the relevant ICAC recommendation.

Data for previous years is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/attorney-general-s-dept

Public interest disclosure

There were no occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018.

Data for previous years is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/attorney-general-s-dept

Note: Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.

Reporting required under any other Act or Regulation >