Counter-Fraud for data transparency
S43 of the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, requires local authorities to publish information about their counter fraud work.
The attached figures cover the period 1/4/2020 – 31/3/2021.
Number of occasions powers were used under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers
- Internal Audit - not used
- Revenues - not used
- Benefits - not used
- Housing - not used
Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud
- Internal Audit - one employee (approx. 0.1 FTE) may be involved in investigations that could relate to fraud and also reviews potential fraud cases from annual National Fraud Initiative (NFI) reports received
- Benefits - investigations staff were transferred to the DWP SFIS in December 2015. No fraud officer since April 2019.
- Housing - housing Fraud Investigator (1 FTE) – but temporarily vacant since end of January 2020
- Legal Services - no prosecutions in 2020/21
Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists
- Internal Audit - none
- Benefits - none
- Housing - none
Total spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud
- Internal Audit c. £6k (based upon staff time)
- Revenues c. £2.5k (additional review of NFI reports)
- Housing c. £1k (subscriptions and fees only)
Total number of fraud cases investigated
- Internal Audit - general review of NFI reports only
- Housing - no cases investigated, pending appointment of a replacement fraud investigator in 2021
Since March 2020, the Council has been responsible for the distribution of c. £50M of Government Covid-19 business support grants. As part of this, the Government has required significant pre- and post-payment assurance checking to prevent fraud. This work has been undertaken by staff in the Revenues, Economy and Internal Audit sections. Time and costs for this have not been calculated, but as part of the Covid-19 response the Council has received ‘New Burdens’ funding from the Government to cover this.
It should be noted that more detailed information on the Council’s counter-fraud activities is presented to the Audit & Governance Committee in July, covering the previous financial year. A copy of this report is provided on the Data Transparency web page.