CurbyMcLintock’s Report into the Box Draw process published to bolster transparency in the racing industry
Paul Curby and Scott McLintock
CurbyMcLintock was requested by the Greyhound and Welfare Integrity Commission (GWIC) to conduct a review the Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) box draw and grading process on their behalf. Click here to access the public report into the Independent Review Into Greyhound Racing NSW Box Draw Process.
Our work and findings did not find evidence of a corrupted box draw or grading system however we did make a number of observations where we thought the processes may be strengthened for improved transparency and stakeholder confidence.
One of the central activities undertaken as part of the review was to complete a data analytics exercise of racing data to identify any evidence of vulnerabilities or the potential to manipulate the box draw process. Relevant racing data is recorded in a system known as OzChase which is administered by Racing & Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).
As part of the engagement, CurbyMcLintock was asked to undertake the following:
- Extract records from the OzChase system for the period 1 January 2016 to 10 March 2021 (the Relevant Period);
- Review GRNSW documents that articulate the grading process to understand its potential to influence the outcome of a box draw;
- Conduct interviews and walk-through with appropriate GRNSW staff involved in the grading and box draw process, to understand the box draw process and obtain an understanding of how GRNSW ensures a fair and equitable process for the boxing of greyhounds for a race;
- Conduct an observation of a box draw process in action to confirm that they are consistent with those described as set out in relevant GRNSW policy documents;
- Perform relevant tests in the OzChase ‘QUAL’ system to replicate the draw process (e.g., manual draw process);
- Conduct a data analytics review of the audit logs relating to the box draw process; and
- Following completion of the data analytics process, select two case studies to review box draw allocations and the relevant process in drawing of these races.
Our analysis confirmed that there were 61,237 races relating to 5,969 meetings that were run during the Relevant Period.
CurbyMcLintock used proprietary software to conduct our detailed analysis.
Before doing any detailed analysis, we needed to define and confirm the definition of a ‘redraw’ in the context of a ‘box draw’.
Our analysis, identified 283 races as a redraw. We made the following observations, all of which were accompanied with recommendations to address each observation.
Grading Process observations
|Observation 1||The OzChase system allows an unlimited amount of redraws to be undertaken|
|Observation 2||OzChase provides the opportunity to set up a race as a ‘final’ enabling the manual draw function|
|Observation 3||No formal approval process for a redraw to be undertaken|
|Observation 4||Lack of governance regarding change requests sent to RWWA|
|Observation 5||There is no policy setting out guidelines as to how a live manual box draw is to be undertaken for finals and feature races|
|Observation 6||Recipients of automatic notification email is not fit for purpose|
|Observation 7||No audit history maintained with regard to changes to the email distribution list receiving notification of redraws|
|Observation 8||Seeded Reserves Grading Policy presents an opportunity for manipulation|
|Observation 9||The Grading Process is Susceptible to Human Error|
|Observation 10||The term Redraw is not defined in the greyhound racing rules|
Box Draw observations
|Observation 11||No ‘flag’ in the OzChase system to easily identify redraws|
|Observation 12||No race sequence number contained in email redraw audit data|
|Observation 13||The majority of redraws contain little or no detail regarding the reason for the redraw|
|Observation 14||Missing email audit data in OzChase|
|Observation 15||Box draw ‘type’ captured in OzChase is misleading with regard to amendments made by RWWA representatives|
|Observation 16||No capability currently in OzChase for a consolation final to allow a manual draw in the system|
All of our recommendations were accepted by GWIC with some of these being implemented immediately. The engagement demonstrated the power of data analytics to provide insights into business operations.
For more detailed information and to review the recommendations relating to all of the observations, please click here to go to the GWIC public box draw report.
CurbyMcLintock is a boutique forensic services firm that helps organisations better manage fraud and compliance risk and respond in a timely manner if things go wrong. As part of our services, we utilise advanced data analytics to draw insights from disparate data sets to allow decision makers to make informed decisions. We also utilise data analytics to help drive better compliance outcomes by identifying vulnerabilities and reporting on key compliance risks in real time. We help selected organisations to automate and optimize routine compliance functions using specialist proprietary software with inbuilt AI, alleviating already pressed compliance staff to concentrate on more serious matters.
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A proactive approach is a sensible and cost-effective method to prevent fraud occurring in the first instance. We typically find that organisations rely on standard controls supported by policy and procedures as the only line of defence against fraud. This is simply not enough, and your stakeholders and regulators expect you to take a more robust, proactive approach to protecting your organisation from financial loss and other associated risks.
CurbyMcLintock can assist you become fraud resilient by adopting a methodology which combines skilled interviewing techniques and tapping into the knowledge of your staff who are at the coalface of business operations, to help uncover where your organisation is exposed to internal and external fraud. We will then provide you with mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of a fraud incident occurring