Prevention and Detection of Fraud
Under the Council’s Financial Regulations, a Chief Officer or any other member of staff has a responsibility to immediately inform the Chief Internal Auditor of any loss or financial irregularity or suspected irregularity.
The Council has introduced a “Whistleblowers” Code which enables staff to raise concerns in a confidential manner in the knowledge that the concerns will be properly investigated and that they will be protected from any recriminations or victimisation. The Council also has in place an Anti-Fraud Plan.
Any allegation of fraud or financial irregularity that is brought to the attention of internal audit will be thoroughly investigated by appropriate audit staff. If it is considered appropriate the facts will be passed to the police for further action. A report on audit’s investigations will be provided to Management and audit will assist in any disciplinary action as appropriate.
As part the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, Worcestershire County Council is required to publish the following information regarding counter fraud work.
The data relates to for the period 1 April 2014 to 20 January 2015.
For the period 1 April 2014 onwards we have not used powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers.
The total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud can be one of 10 employees depending on the requirements imposed by the investigation.
We do not have any professionally accredited counter fraud specialists.
A total number of 5 potential fraud/irregularity cases have been investigated. Two of these cases have been reported to Action Fraud, UK's National fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
The total amount spent by Internal Audit on the investigation and prosecution of fraud is £10,600 including ongoing work as part of the National Fraud initiative. With regard to the total time spent by the Council including that of individual managers, we do not capture this information.