Agenda item

Corporate Anti-Fraud Strategy 2021-2024


The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance submitted a report on the proposed Corporate Anti-Fraud Strategy which provided a framework to direct anti-fraud activity over the next three years.


Mrs J Race (Principal Auditor), who presented the report, indicated that the third Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy, prepared by the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service had been published in 2020.  This Strategy had been used to frame the Authority’s Strategy, as appended to the report, which adopted structure across the recommended five pillars included in the national strategy document:


·         Govern

·         Acknowledge

·         Prevent

·         Pursue

·         Protect


One of the recommendations of the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally National Strategy was that the authority participate in a Regional Operational Group to, amongst other things, share best practice including potential fraud risks and Mrs Race was a member of this Group.  There were also a number of working groups as well and she was also a member of the Incentives and Data Analytics Groups and she was keen for the authority to continue to be involved with this work.


The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance stated that a detailed Operational Plan was now being prepared alongside the Internal Audit Plan for 2021/22 and this would be presented to the June meeting taking into account any comments made by members of this Committee.


Written responses to questions asked by Members of the Committee were provided as follows:


·         In relation to communications with other council’s/third parties, it was reported that the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) had recommended the formation of a regional operation group to share information and develop best practice in response to Local Authority fraud risks. As reported above, the Principal Auditor was a member of this Group representing the Yorkshire and Humberside Region.  The FFCL also recommended a number of working groups to assist LA’s with counter fraud work:

o   Fraud Measurement – to develop a consistent risk and performance methodology for LAs;

o   Powers – to identify and evidence areas where there was a lack of investigative powers to pursue investigations e.g. social care fraud;

o   Incentives – what types of incentives could support improved activity;

o   Data Analytics – to review existing data related initiatives and recommend best practice on new ideas;

o   Social Care – to look at how local fraud strategies should align to LA safeguarding responsibilities

All of the Working Groups would report to the regional Group with their findings (they were yet to meet).  In addition to the above the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team was a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Fraud Investigators Group.  The 3 officers of the Team were members of the Tenancy Fraud Forum and the National Anti-Fraud Network

·         In relation to continuous training, all three members of the Team undertook personal development and refresher training.  The 2 Counter Fraud Officers had recently attended/or were to shortly to attend NAFN and CIFAS webinars:

o   NAFN offered a range of free webinars to help officers maximise the use of their services including refresher training;

o   CIFAS: Understanding the Insider Threat (was a free online conference dedicated to tackling internal fraud). Understanding the Insider Threat, Managing the Insider Threat and Practical responses to the Insider Threat.

·         The Principal Auditor attended a ‘Counter Fraud Summit’ in February and would be attending the ‘Tackling Covid-19 Fraud Across the Public Sector Conference’ in May.

·         All staff had PDRS where training and development requirements and requests were discussed.


RESOLVED that the Corporate Anti-Fraud Strategy be approved and the Committee is assured that it provides the appropriate framework to direct anti-fraud activity over the next 3 years.



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