Fraud and corruption
This page is about our Corporate Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Team, how to report suspected fraud, and our Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Policy.
Fraud is a serious matter that affects both the council and the local area. We are committed to ensuring that fraud and corruption is reduced and the risk minimised by operating a zero-tolerance culture of fraud corruption.
If you suspect someone of committing any of the above types of fraud you should make an immediate note of your concerns and report them using one of the following methods:
- Corporate Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Team Online Referral Form
- Fraud Hotline on 01737 276483
- Email email@example.com
Defining fraud and corruption
Put simply, fraud may be defined as the use of deception with the intention of obtaining an advantage, making a gain, avoiding an obligation or causing loss to another party. Similarly, corruption could be simply defined as offering, giving or accepting an inducement or reward which would influence the actions taken, in this case, by the council and its Officers. Generally, the term “fraud and corruption” is used to describe such acts as:
- false representation
- concealment of material facts
Who can commit fraud?
Fraud can involve anyone that is employed by or on behalf of an organisation or anyone or group that has a relationship with the organisation either as a supplier, contractor, customer, or service end user. This means that fraud could be committed by any one of the thousands of people that the council deals with on a daily basis.
Fraud affects our community
Fraud can have a direct impact on the level of council tax, the level of resources available to share amongst our community and local services such as housing, social care and education.
Types of fraud we investigate
Our Corporate Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Team are committed to the prevention, detection and investigation of various types of fraud and corruption.
This can include acts such as:
- benefit fraud
- council tax reduction fraud
- council tax discount & exemption fraud
- housing and homelessness application fraud
- insurance and compensation fraud
- offences committed by staff members and contractors.
What is the Council doing about Fraud?
The Council has a responsibility to protect public funds and ensure that any allegations of fraud and/or corruption are fully investigated.
For that reason the Council has a dedicated Corporate Anti Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team made up of qualified and accredited investigation specialists. The team’s duties include:
- Preventing and reducing the risk of fraud
- Detecting and investigating allegations of fraud
- Taking legal action against those committing the fraud.
The Council is committed to ensuring that fraud is prevented, detected, and investigated fully, and that the appropriate action is taken. We will investigate any reported fraud and if we have sufficient evidence, we will take legal action (where appropriate).
What happens when I report my concerns?
Any information or referral of suspected fraud is dealt with confidentially by the Council’s Corporate Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team. An Investigator will normally carry out an investigation and will gather all of the relevant information and evidence before approaching the person concerned.
The Corporate Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team work closely and sometimes conduct investigations with officers from other agencies such as the Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Immigration, among others. In certain situations, the person who is alleged to have committed fraud may be invited to attend a formal Interview under Caution (IUC).
What is an Interview under Caution (IUC)?
An Interview under Caution is a formal interview that is normally recorded on either tape or CD, and is conducted in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The reason for an IUC is that it is suspected that an offence has been committed, so this is an opportunity for the accused to explain the events that have occurred.
The interview will normally be conducted by two officers who are specially trained to carry out interviews in line with the legislative requirements. If the case is being jointly investigated, an officer from another agency may also be present at the interview.
For more information on Interviews under Caution please see our Interviews under Caution information leaflet (PDF document [82.9Kb]) .
What happens after an Interview under Caution?
If more information came to light during the interview, this will be followed up and the necessary information will be collated. The accused may be asked to attend another interview at a later date to discuss this new information. The case will then be independently reviewed and a decision will be made on the next course of action. One copy of the recording media is securely sealed and stored for future reference.
For more information on what happens after an Interview under Caution please see our After an Interview under Caution information leaflet (PDF document [328.6Kb]) .
What action can the Council take?
There are various options available to the Council if the decision is made that an offence has been committed, and there is enough evidence to instigate criminal proceedings. These options (which are outlined in more detail in the After an Interview under Caution information leaflet (PDF document [328.6Kb])) are as follows:
- warning letter
- formal caution
- administrative penalty
- civil penalties
Please be aware that not all options are available on each case.
For more information on sanctions please see the Council’s Sanction and Prosecution Policy (PDF document [498.8Kb]) which is located at Appendix 6 of the Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Policy .
For further information on Fraud and Corruption please see the Council’s Anti Fraud and Anti Corruption Policy (PDF document [498.8Kb]) and Whistle-blowing Policy (PDF document [158.4Kb]).
Last updated : 13/05/2013