Decision Maker: Audit Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
In response to Members’ questions, the Shared Anti-Fraud Service Manager commented as follows:
· the staffing levels of the Service had increased following Luton Borough Council joining the partnership in 2017 – this had provided greater flexibility in the deployment of staff to support all of the partner authorities;
· National level of fraud – there were figures to support a level of known fraud, but the various figures produced by various institutions, such as CIPFA or the National Audit Office, also included estimated risks of unknown fraud;
· New activities to be undertaken by SAFS in 2019/20 included enhanced anti-fraud work on procurement matters; Right to Buy housing fraud (money laundering etc.); and joint work with the Cabinet Office on a new national fraud initiative;
· The £2,000 increase in fees payable by SBC to SAFS for 2019/20 had been the first such increase since the partnership was established in 2015 (increased costs in previous years had been absorbed by SAFS);
· SBC’s contribution towards the Herts Fraud Hub would be £4,000, although it was hoped that this would be recouped over time through improved and swifter data sharing methods to assist in the prevention/detection of fraud;
· The new 2019/20 Key Performance Indicator (KPI) target relating to the number of social homes secured from sub-letting or other unlawful tenancy breaches had been set at 12 for the year, as these cases were often complex and took time to resolve. However, it was hoped that this target would be exceeded; and
· The “other” types of fraud set out in the Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) statistics 2017 of the cost of fraud to the UK economy, included Business Rates fraud, Insurance fraud, etc.
The SAFS Anti-Fraud Manager undertook to provide Members of the Committee with the full CIPFA Counter Fraud and Corruption Tracker report, which was an annual survey of fraud activity in councils and measured detection rates across local government and across different types of fraud.
It was RESOLVED:
1. That the SAFS / SBC Anti-Fraud Plan 2019/20, as attached at Appendix B to the report, be approved.
2. That the Local Government Association Councillors Workbook on Fraud and Bribery Prevention 2017 be noted.
Publication date: 19/03/2019
Date of decision: 19/03/2019
Decided at meeting: 19/03/2019 - Audit Committee