The Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud will submit a report providing an account of the work of the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team for the period 1st April to 31st October, 2017.
The Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud submitted a report providing an account of the work of the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team for the period 1st April to 31st October, 2017.
The report provided details of the following activities in which the Team were currently involved:
· Council Tax Support investigations
· Council Tax fraudulent liability claims
· Right to Buy investigations
· Corporate Investigations
· National Fraud Initiative involvement
· Tenancy Fraud
· Fraud Awareness training
· The review of the Corporate Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policies
· Work with External Clients
An appendix to the report gave details of sample fraud cases that had been investigated together with the results/outcome.
The report indicated and the Principal Auditor (Corporate Anti-Fraud) gave details of the positive impact the Team was having in tackling fraud which was very much welcomed. It was noted that the Team’s work was continuing to have significant results as initiatives were now becoming embedded within the Council’s processes and procedures.
The Principal Auditor (Corporate Anti-Fraud) referred, amongst other things, to the following:
· The use of the ‘Fraud Hotline’. Arising out of this it was noted that the majority of allegations of irregularity received from members of the public in relation to Council Tax were now referred to the DWP for consideration and investigation.
· Joint working arrangements were being developed between the Service and the DWP in relation to Council Tax investigations which would lead to financial savings for both organisations
· Work undertaken in relation to the National Fraud Initiative had been particularly successful
· Work was continuing and the service was in the process of uploading the single person database for the annual mandatory check
· Work was continuing with Berneslai Homes in relation to Tenancy Fraud and a further two referrals had been received for further follow up, the outcomes of which would be reported to a future meeting
· Fraud Awareness training was continuing and was now ‘live’ on the Council’s new e-learning platform (POD)
In the ensuing discussion, particular reference was made to the following:
· In response to detailed questioning, information was provided about the ways in which the Authority attempted to ensure that there were no duplicate payments. It was noted that no duplicate payments had been identified since October 2016. Arising out of this discussion, the Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud reported on the outcome of discussions with a specialist company who were willing to provide a free risk review of payments data. Decisions on whether or not to purchase any additional software would be dependent upon the outcome of that review
· There was a discussion of the increase in the Empty Property discount on second properties, of the implications of this and of the action taken to prevent fraud
· It was noted that Fraud Awareness Training was mandatory for all ‘new starter’ and it had been suggested that this be made mandatory for all employees
· Reference was made of the need to improve publicity of successes of the service as this would act as a deterrent to further fraud. This was something that the Service was actively investigating
· Arising out of the above, reference was made to the development of a full suite of guidance and policy documents which were currently under consideration by SMT prior to consideration by Cabinet and this Committee prior to launch. Following this, it might be appropriate to arrange for further publicity to be undertaken
(i) that the progress made in the development of effective arrangements and measures to minimise the risk of fraud and corruption be noted; and
(ii) that the Committee receive six monthly progress reports on internal and external fraud investigated by the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team.