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Accurate and honest declarations

Published on 22 January 2020

Accountability

Declarations are often the first document reviewed when a suspected fraud arises. The investigator seeks to understand both the content of the declaration and to identify the person who is responsible for providing false information.

When the identity of the signatory is unclear it can prevent the organisation, CFS or the police, from holding the fraudster accountable for the offence. This can happen when the process allows for an accountant, solicitor or other representative to sign on the applicant’s behalf.

Wherever possible the signatory of the form should be the person to benefit from the application. When beneficiaries have no capacity to act for themselves then an agent with power of attorney should sign, personally accepting accountability for providing complete and accurate information.

There are no circumstances where CFS would recommend that an employee of the organisation should sign a truth declaration on behalf of the applicant. In exceptional circumstances an employee of the organisation may have to accept a verbal affirmation after reading aloud the text of the declaration, then noting this event in writing on the form or elsewhere in writing, at the time of the affirmation. Corroborating this affirmation in the presence of a second employee of the organisation or other independent person would increase its import in criminal proceedings.