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 1/1/2014 - 31/12/2014.

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 - 1.8 Investigators. 0.3 Manager (2.1 FTE)
  • Housing Ad hoc – liaison with Investigations
  • Legal Services - 2 staff involved in prosecutions (0.04 FTE)

Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists

  • Internal Audit - none
  • Benefits - 2.1
  • Housing - none

Total spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud

  • Internal Audit - c. £5k (based upon staff time)
  • Revenues - c. £2k (additional review of NFI reports)
  • Benefits - c. £95k (staff time and legal costs)
  • Housing - c. £5k (proportion of staff time)
  • Legal Services - c. £3k (prosecutions – including external advice)

Total number of fraud cases investigated

  • Internal Audit / Revenues - From the February 2014 NFI reports, 496 Council Tax Single Person Discount leads were reviewed and 41 accounts subsequently had bills altered – however, these were not formal ‘fraud’ investigations
  • Benefits - 139
  • Housing - 10
  • Legal Services - 4 prosecution (resulting from investigations)

It should be noted that information on the Council’s counter-fraud activities is presented to the Audit & Governance Committee in June, covering the previous financial year. A copy of this report is provided on the Data Transparency web page.