This online forum will examine successful methods of tackling fraud and corruption in the public sector. Attendees will be provided with an update from Cifas on the ‘Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy 2020’ and hear from fraud experts from the Cabinet Office and City of London Police. In addition, best practice practitioners will share guidance on implementing effective data matching practices, building an organisational counter-fraud culture, and developing the in-house capacity to recover public funds.
This event is split into 3 sections:
- Policy Update
- Innovating Audits and Detection of Risk
- Preventing Fraud Through Capacity-Building
What to expect from the online experience:
- Delivered via the next generation conference engagement platform Swapcard
- Matchmaking networking and live meeting scheduling with delegates
- Live interaction tools and break out rooms
- Replay functions so you never miss a session
- Varied formats and screen breaks to support an engaging experience
- Post-event resources and presentations
According to the Cross-Government Fraud Landscape Report 2019, the government loses between £2.8bn-£22.6bn per year to fraud. Local authorities are expected to lose £7.8bn specifically, and according to the CIPFA Fraud and Corruption Tracker, the four major fraud areas include council tax, disabled parking, housing, and business rates. Council tax fraud is expected to cost £30.6m alone in 2018/19.
In seeking to address a challenge that continues to grow in scale and complexity, the government established a Counter Fraud Function in 2018 which brings civil servants together to fight fraud across the public sector. In the following year, senior leaders from the Function came together to agree a Counter Fraud Functional Strategy set to shape their confined efforts until 2023. This included the development of the world’s first public sector Counter Fraud Profession to build capacity and support organisations to evolve.
To support local authorities more specifically, the Government in collaboration with Cifas published the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy 2020 in March 2020. The strategy looks at current issues, risks and good practice and provides councils with a counter-fraud standard to benchmark their practices. In conjunction with this, to promote innovation in fraud prevention, the Local Government Authority (LGA) has also published case-studies from the Councils who received £16m funding from the Government’s Counter Fraud Fund in 2016. Furthermore, in June 2020, The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government released their Local Government Procurement: Fraud and Corruption Risk Review, which outlined best practice and risks of fraud and corruption when councils procure and commission goods, works and services.
Local authorities must now work together to innovate auditing and detection of risk, prevent fraud through capacity-building, and use enforcement powers to recover public funds. Failure to do so will lead to increased financial strain on the public sector and a loss of confidence from the public.
*Please note to comply with the latest public health guidance around Covid-19, this conference will run entirely via an online platform. Specific joining instructions and guidance will be provided to registered delegates
- Analysing the new ‘Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy 2020’ including current risks, issues and best practice from councils who received £16m funding from the Government’s Counter Fraud Fund
- Highlighting CIFAS resources including the ‘Protecting the Vulnerable’ service, Joint Fraud Taskforce and Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Force
- Sharing how central government, local authorities and law enforcement can collaborate more effectively to tackle fraud and corruption in line with the ‘Local Authority Counter-Fraud Standards’
- Commenting on the MHCLG’s Local Government Procurement: Fraud and Corruption Risk Review, including the impact it could have on supporting councils to tackle internal fraud and corruption
- Evaluating the impact that Covid-19 has had on local councils fighting fraud
- Articulating the Cabinet Office’ vision for increased adoption of data analytics to identify fraud, highlighting the resources outlined in the ‘Cross-Government Fraud Landscape Annual Report 2019’
- Outlining the work of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in matching electronic data within and between public and private bodies, improving access to data and analytics techniques
- Sharing NFI products for improved data matching including AppCheck, ReCheck and the FraudHub and providing case studies to exemplify how these work
- Highlighting data matching powers bestowed by Digital Economy Act 2017 and the Code of Data Matching Practice
- Evaluating the work the NFI has been doing around Covid-19 and understanding what the counter-fraud response to Covid-19 has been
- Outlining how the council utilizes the powers outlined in the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and Digital Economy Act 2017 to conduct data matching
- Examining what data will be shared and with which public bodies, including council tax, blue badge parking and housing benefits
- Highlighting progress made so far including upskilling staff through training and investigating the first case of fraud through partnership working
- Sharing challenges and lessons learnt including deciding the definition of ‘personal data’ with partners and other GDPR concerns
- How can councils use data sharing and matching practices to combat Covid-19 specific fraud?
- Sharing insights into how the council developed an innovative risk-based system to tackle fraud which aimed to identify suspicious activity early on
- Offering guidance on how councils can carry out intensive checks and risks assessments on people applying for council services, alongside ongoing eligibility checks
- Highlighting the success of the system, which resulted in savings of more than £1.5 million and the council being nominated for a Public Finance Award for Outstanding Proactive Fraud Detection and Recovery
- Outlining the development of the government counter-fraud profession, including the 7,000 members, and discussing future plans to include local authorities
- Talking about the career pathway and the Counter Fraud Investigator (CFI) Apprenticeship Scheme
- Highlighting resources to aid professional development, including the development of training and qualifications and the Public Sector Counter Fraud Journal.
- Examining progress made across government and beyond, plus how the introduction of the profession has improved outcomes in terms of tackling fraud
- What is whistleblowing and what are the legal requirements?
- Spot the difference: whistleblowing or grievance?
- What prevents people from speaking out?
- What is best practice in the workplace? The three core elements which form a successful whistleblowing system
- Building key local partnerships across Durham, including with police and registered landlords to take a localised approach to tackling fraud
- Sharing guidance on tackling fraud at a local level, including challenges encountered and how to overcome them
- Sharing the work Durham has been doing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in tackling fraud at a local level and assessing what Covid-19 specific counter-fraud initiatives have and haven’t worked
- Outlining the benefits of partnership working and how a localised approach has led to significant savings from uncovering fraud
*Please note this session will be pre-recorded and played on the day.
- Examining the development of the counter fraud unit made up of a wide range of professionals, including ex-police officers and housing experts, which has delivered savings of more than £7,000,000 since its conception
- Analysing the culture of continuous improvement in the team created through the ‘audit recommendation tracker process’ which encourages employees to report issues and submit suggestions to improve systems and processes
- Highlighting exercises to ensure collaborative working between the council and its partners, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU), opening offices to police officers and multi-agency exercises
- Outlining the e-learning fraud awareness module rolled out across the wider organization, focusing on high risk areas including housing, direct payment, schools, and corporate property
*programme subject to change
This Forum is specifically designed for Local and Central Government and the wider Public Sector. Typical job titles will include:
- Heads of Audit or Internal Audit
- Counter-Fraud and Corruption Managers
- Heads of Assurance
- Finance Directors
- Chief Executives
- Revenues and Benefits Managers
- Case Managers
- Operation Managers
- Cabinet Members for Finance and Governance
- Finance Officers
- Investigating Officers
- Procurement Business Managers
- Account Managers
- Public Sector£295+ VAT
- Voluntary Sector£245+ VAT
- Private Sector£395+ VAT
The Cifas Fraud and Cyber Academy provides accredited education and trusted training in fraud prevention and investigation for professionals in the public and private sectors. An SFJ Awards Approved Learning Centre, we work with leading universities and industry experts to deliver postgraduate study, Ofqual-regulated qualifications, and specialist courses and training.