Bendigo Health to create ‘corporate integrity’ role in response to IBAC report into fraud

BENDIGO Health will employ a manager of corporate integrity in an attempt to prevent fraud.

The measure was included in Bendigo Health’s response to an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation into alleged fraudulent behaviour at the health service.

The investigation led to the sacking of former chief executive officer John Mulder.

Bendigo Health was required to respond to the IBAC report’s five recommendations.

Its most comprehensive response was to a recommendation that it “thoroughly review” its procurement, asset management and information security policies.

Having adopted a new fraud and corruption prevention framework, Bendigo Health decided to create the role of manager of corporate integrity.

The role includes carrying out fraud risk assessments, monitoring the handling of reports related to fraud when they are made to managers, accept reports of fraud when they are made to supervisors, and initiative fraud and corruption investigations.

The person will report to the audit and management committee through the CEO.

They will also be responsible for keeping track of best practice in fraud and corruption risk management.

A further role will be created as part of the response – a manager of systems and data integrity, to oversee the implementation of the Health Department’s new cyber security strategy.

The strategy requires Bendigo Health to report to DHHS on its progress to meet all 72 security controls.

In its response to the IBAC report, Bendigo Health stated its new framework was modeled on the Health Department.

“Importantly, this Framework provides clear and straightforward direction and guidance to staff of Bendigo Healthcare Group in the reporting of suspected fraud and corruption,” the response reads.

Bendigo Health staff must also advise of “declarable associates”.

The Health Department brought in a range of mandatory fraud and corruption prevention measures for health services in light of the IBAC report into Bendigo Health.

The IBAC report, tabled in parliament in May, identified “organisational and systemic corruption vulnerabilities at Bendigo Health”.

Mr Mulder was found to have received about $10,000 in goods and services without payment at a number of his properties. They included electrical work at his Spring Gully property and the receipt of a glass ambulance depot door at his property in Torquay.

Bendigo Health undertook a review of the goods and services provided to Mr Mulder, and found all have since been paid for.

IBAC also found Bendigo Health’s former construction manager Adam Hardinge had abused his position. He was convicted and fined $15,000 in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court in October last year.