Fraud

Preventing fraud is extremely important, as every pound lost through fraud in the public sector directly means that there is less money available to help provide vital services for residents and businesses in our area. We have a zero tolerance policy towards fraud.

The government is committed to the reduction of fraud in the public sector with its 2020 strategy:  Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally | CIPFA.

If you suspect someone is involved in benefit, council tax or housing fraud you can report it and this be anonymously if you prefer not to give your details. The information below tells you how to report each type of fraud.

Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud happens when someone is dishonest in order to claim benefits, or deliberately doesn't report a change in their circumstances. Examples include when someone:

  • works but doesn’t declare this when they make their claim
  • does not tell us the full amount of income, savings or capital that they have when they claim
  • does not update us about a change of circumstance that may affect an existing claim

You can report a suspected benefit fraud online without giving your details.

Report benefit fraud (gov.uk)

You can also contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854440 to make a report, or speak to our benefits team on 01903 737753 if you have any specific questions about your own benefits claim.

Council tax fraud

Council tax fraud happens when someone gives false information to avoid paying the correct amount of council tax.

Examples include someone:

  • claiming a single person discount when they live with a partner
  • claiming that their property is unoccupied and unfurnished
  • not letting us know about change in circumstances

To report suspected council tax fraud please email details of the suspected fraud to revenues.benefits@arun.gov.uk or phone and leave a message on our whistleblowing line on 01903 737556. Your report can be anonymous or you can leave your details which will be kept in confidence.

Housing fraud

We are working to stop housing fraud to make sure that homes are fairly given to the people who need them.

Housing fraud includes:

  • providing incorrect information on a housing tenancy application
  • claiming to live at a council property when you live elsewhere
  • sub-letting a council property to someone else without permission
  • living in a property after someone has died without the right to do so

We will investigate all reports of housing fraud, and take action against offenders, including civil action to repossess a property. Anyone who has made money from unlawful subletting will be made to pay this back if they are convicted.

You can report suspected housing fraud to us by emailing housingfraud@arun.gov.uk or calling 01903 737732. We will ask for some information from you, but we will never disclose who reports fraud to us. Please also read our privacy notice on housing fraud.

Whistleblowing

Our whistleblowing policy.pdf [pdf] 26KB explains how staff and members of the public can report concerns about wrongdoing within the council or dangers to the public or the environment, and how these cases are handled.

You can call and leave a message on our whistleblowing line on 01903 737556 and any matters raised may be handled confidentially, or anonymously, as required.

National Fraud Initiative - privacy notice

Arun District Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers.  It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match.  This is usually personal information.  Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.  Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation.  No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.  We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.  It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.  For further information on data matching at this authority please contact internal.audit@arun.gov.uk.

The following Privacy Notices (known as Fair Processing Notices before 2018) have been published by the Council for recent data matching exercises:-

Privacy Notice 2021.docx [docx] 24KB
Privacy Notice 2020.pdf [pdf] 223KB
Privacy Notice 2019.pdf [pdf] 219KB
Privacy Notice 2018.docx [docx] 18KB