By Dr Verity Greenwood, Lecturer at Macquarie University’s Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance – Director ACFE Sydney Chapter
On the 23 November 2015, the ACFE Sydney Chapter training session series was privileged to have Detective Sergeant Colin Hunt as the keynote speaker. As a member of the Australian Federal Police, Detective Sergeant Hunt brings a wealth of experience to his role as Team leader within the AFP Organised Crime and Cyber Portfolio, Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre.
Following a brief update on the OECD Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Operations, Detective Sergeant Hunt provided an insider perspective on the collaborative role of the multi-agency Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre. Of particular interest was the determinants that must exist for a fraud and foreign bribery investigation to be undertaken by the Centre. These determinants include the seriousness and complexity of the fraud, sums involved and the estimated length of foreign bribery investigations, all within an abiding philosophy of ‘sticky resources’.
Discussion turned to the investigative tools available at the Centre, the beneficial collaborative approach taken between ASIC, the Australian Tax Office, APRA and AUSTRAC and the formation of the International Foreign Taskforce. Many other topics were covered including the quality assurance mechanism of the AFP Panel of Experts, the inconsistency as to legality of Facilitation payments across the globe and indicators of foreign bribery. In concluding, Detective Sergeant Hunt described the investigative challenges for the Centre, the possibility of legislative reform in relation to Commonwealth false accounting provisions and the AFP Graduate program.
The character and number of questions that followed indicated great audience interest in all the topics covered. Whilst enjoying refreshments during the networking session that followed, attendees had a further opportunity to meet and discuss fraud investigation and opportunities with Detective Sergeant Hunt and to catch up and share their own stories with each other. All agreed it was a very successful session and one they were glad they did not miss.