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Council defends its fraud control record as one of QLD’s best

Published: 5 June 2015

Council defends its fraud control record as one of QLD’s best

Logan City Council has defended its record on fraud control following statements made by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) about the performance of local governments in preventing misuse of funds.

The City of Logan is one of only two councils in South East Queensland that received a clean bill of health for its financial governance practices from the QAO as per report no.16 for 2014/15 that was tabled in Parliament in May 2015.

Logan City Council's Audit Committee Chairperson Councillor Luke Smith (Division 6), said the report released this week by Auditor-General Andrew Greaves should have named councils so it was clear who was at fault and who was doing the right thing.

"By choosing not to name anyone, they have implicated everyone," Cr Smith said.

"Generalised commentary like the sort we have seen from the QAO and in media reports this week saps the faith of ratepayers and unfairly damages the reputation of staff who are doing the right thing.

"It also undermines the efforts we have gone to at the City of Logan to implement first-class audit and risk management standards.

"Let's not forget, these are standards that have received the tick of approval from the QAO themselves."

Cr Smith said the City of Logan took its commitment to fraud and corruption control very seriously and that all Councils and businesses should make this a priority.

"Any employer is at risk of their employees attempting to defraud them by misusing assets or attempted theft," Cr Smith said.

"That's a reality everywhere but we have a number of safeguards in place to prevent and detect those kinds of activities.

"Council has adopted a fraud management and risk management plan that forms part of its annual internal audit activities.

"Further to that, Price Waterhouse Coopers provides Council with independent advice and expertise in developing our annual audit plan and also undertakes all of Council's audit activities.

"These processes are in place to give our community every confidence that governance in the City of Logan is in good hands, and alarmist statements like those made by the QAO this week do nothing but unnecessarily shake that confidence."