Fraud and corruption
Our prevention of financial crime policy sets out our position on fraud and corruption. It has the full support of our Joint Audit and Standards Committee, as well as senior management.
We take our responsibilities to protect the public purse very seriously. We are committed to the highest standards of openness and accountability, to ensure the proper use and protection of public funds and assets.
We will not tolerate fraud or corruption from our:
- service users
We will take all necessary steps to investigate all allegations of fraud or corruption. We will pursue sanctions available in each case - which may include removal from office, dismissal or prosecution.
Our policy has been adopted in line with guidelines from the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Elements of financial crime that are particularly relevant to local authorities have been given their own sections within the policy.
The policy intends to provide one point of reference on any aspect of financial crime that we may encounter in our normal working life. It also clarifies the process needed to identify, report and process any event of financial crime.
National Fraud Initiative
We are required, by law, to protect the public funds that we administer. We may, to prevent and detect fraud, share information with other bodies that are responsible for auditing or administering public funds. This is via the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).
The Cabinet Office (who operate the NFI) appoint the auditor who audits the accounts of all relevant authorities within the NFI. They are also responsible for carrying out any data matching exercises.
Data matching involves the comparison of computer records held by one body, with other computer records held by the same or another body, to see how far they match. The data is usually personal information.
Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found, it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that needs to be investigated further. No assumption can be made, until an investigation has been carried out.
As per our involvement with the NFI, we have to provide particular sets of data, to the Cabinet Office, for data matching exercises. Information about the data that is processed can be accessed within the NFI's privacy notice.
The use of this data, by the Cabinet Office, is carried out with statutory authority as per Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned (under the Data Protection Act 1998).
Data matching carried out as part of the NFI is subject to their Code of Data Matching Practice.
For more information about the Cabinet Office's legal powers - and the reasons why they match particular information - read the NFI's privacy notice.
If you would like to report an instance(s) of suspected fraud to our Internal Audit team, you can do so via our online form. Please provide as much detail as you can.
Your concern will be dealt with in strict confidence.
If you prefer, you can report an instance(s) of suspected fraud over the phone. Please phone 0300 1234000 (option 7).
Reporting tenancy or benefit fraud
Tenancy fraud is unfair to those who are in need of social housing. It’s also illegal.
We are committed to tackling tenancy fraud. We want to make the best use of our homes. We want to ensure that our housing is being occupied by those who are legally entitled to do so.
We take tenancy fraud very seriously. Our housing team will take action to regain possession where we find evidence of tenancy fraud.
PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT accept anonymous complaints. We require a full name, address and contact details from the person reporting the fraud.
We do not investigate benefit fraud. You should report this to the Department for Work and Pensions who will investigate.