AUSTRAC suggests fraud-monitoring role for super funds

Superannuation funds can play a role in identifying public officials who may be receiving illegal payments, according to a new guidance document issued by the AUSTRAC.

An industry specific guidance document issued to the superannuation industry suggests that “politically exposed persons” are individuals who occupy a prominent public position or function in a government body and cites a “a senior official in a large state government agency with responsibility for planning and development decisions”.

It said the official may have previously worked in the property development industry and that while she normally receives superannuation contributions from her employer-sponsor, her superannuation fund may have noted she has recently started receiving “additional fortnightly contributions from a source that is not her employer sponsor”.

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The AUSTRAC document suggests if the superannuation fund thinks this is inconsistent behaviour and is not aware of the official having any sources of income other than her salary package in her senior official role, it may have reason to be concerned she is being “exposed to corruptive influence in her role”.

It said that if the super fund could not then rule out the possibility of a potential conflict of interest it may need to regard the person as posing a “medium-high risk”.

It suggests that the issue should be reported to AUSTRAC and that the official’s voluntary contributions should continue to be monitored.

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