DHS opens digital forensics lab in Brisbane
The Department of Human Services has launched a state-of-the-art digital forensics lab in Brisbane designed to help disrupt organised efforts to defraud Australia’s welfare system.
The new lab is the second of its kind built by the department, with the existing facility in Canberra having launched in 2015.
The Brisbane lab will seek to support the department’s Taskforce Integrity operations, and enhance its ability to support other agencies in their efforts to tackle fraud, such as the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Australian Federal Police.
So far the Canberra digital forensics team has contributed to over 50 investigations and analysed hundreds of seized devices. It helped the NDIS Fraud taskforce secure a successful conviction against an individual just last month for defrauding the scheme of more than $400,000.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said the new lab is a reaction to the increasingly complex nature of fraud and the propensity for fraudsters to exploit technological advances to commit crimes.
“Advanced technology in the laboratory will allow investigators to obtain and deliver crucial evidence in investigations. The government is more serious than ever about stamping out welfare fraud, with close to 1000 cases reviewed in just the past two months,” he said.
“The new facility will allow the department to continue to detect and disrupt organised crime activity, and to stop the exploitation of vulnerable customers and communities.”
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