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Press Release

Two FSM Investigators successfully complete a Graduate Certificate Course in Fraud Investigation

The ONPA congratulated Acting Chief Investigator Mr. Fletcher Poll, for successfully completed a distance education course in Fraud and Financial Investigation at the Charles Sturt University in Australia and received a Graduate Certificate. While Mr. Poll was awarded the Graduate Certificate on February 15, Investigative Auditor Ms. Sophia Pretrick, who has been undertaking her 60-day on-the-job training in Virginia since mid-February, was awarded the same accreditation on the August 5 of last year. Both investigators enrolled in the Graduate Certificate course which is part of the Masters Program in Fraud & Financial Investigation at the Centre for Investigative Studies and Crime Reduction (CISCR).

CISCR is an initiative of the Charles Sturt University's Faculty of Arts to provide practical training and education for investigators and industry professionals from the areas of fraud, fire, compliance and criminal intelligence. The program offers distance courses designed for individuals who want to pursue their Masters in such field but are unable to take the courses on campus because of their work. In addition, CISCR's three year Masters Program offers three exit points. Students can graduate with a Graduate Certificate after successful completion of the one-year course program or a Graduate Diploma can be awarded after the completing a two year course if unable to complete the entire three year program.

The opportunity as offered to both investigators was a product of the ONPA's effort in upgrading its most important asset its staff. In fact, as part of its Strategic Plan toward capacity building, ONPA submitted its proposal requesting two scholarships from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) early in 2006. Fortunately, the proposal was accepted and ONPA was awarded two scholarships on April 28, 2006 through the Pacific Regional Policy and Management Reform Fund which was managed by the AusAID program. With the assistance of former Chief Investigator Mr. Nigel Savidge who was also a former Professor at the Charles Sturt University, both investigators were successfully enrolled on-line. While both investigators successfully completed their courses, ONPA continues to seek assistance to consistently provide such training for its staff.

ONPA expresses its appreciation for the AusAID program and the Government of Australia for the funding. Again, Congratulations to both Sophia and Fletcher.


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