Reporting fraud or corruption

Updated: 3 July 2023

What is fraud?

The Commonwealth definition of fraud is:

'dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means.'

What is corruption?

The Commonwealth Fraud and Corruption Control Policy definition of corruption is:

‘any conduct that does or could compromise the integrity, accountability or probity of public administration.’

Electoral fraud

Electoral fraud is defined by the AEC as:

'a breach of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 or related legislation with intent to obtain a benefit for which the person is not otherwise entitled to or to cause detriment to the Commonwealth.'

The act of fraud requires intent and must be due to more than carelessness, accident or error.

In understanding and applying this definition of fraud, it is important to recognise:

  • a benefit is not restricted to monetary or material benefits, and may be tangible or intangible including the unauthorised provision of access to or disclosure of information
  • fraud may involve a third party obtaining a benefit rather than, or in addition to, the perpetrator of the fraud.

What is not electoral fraud?

The following non-compliance and misuse offences under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 would not typically be considered electoral fraud:

These are dealt with by the AEC under the standard business process.

How do I make a report?

You can report a suspected fraud by one of these channels:

  • Online
  • Calling AEC's fraud and corruption line on 1300 795 898
  • Mailing:
    Fraud and Corruption Control
    AEC National Office
    Locked Bag 4007
    Canberra ACT 2601

The AEC commits to treating a complaint seriously and in line with the Complaints Management Policy.

In some circumstances it will not be appropriate to provide complainants with details of the outcome of an investigation, however the AEC will endeavour to provide such information wherever the law and AEC policy allows.

Can I remain anonymous?

You can remain anonymous, but please keep in mind that your decision for anonymity may limit our ability to conduct a complete investigation. If you choose the online reporting channel you will be required to provide an email address.

Will my information be secure?

This online service uses secure communications to protect your privacy. Please read the privacy policy and security information prior to using this service.