Overview

19 May, 20219:30 am-12:30 pm20 May, 20219:30 am-12:30 pm
Online Conference

Effectively responding to new and ever evolving fraudulent threats across local government as a result of Covid-19

This conference will provide participants with the opportunity to examine successful methods of tackling fraud and corruption in the public sector that have arisen as a result of Covid-19. Best practice practitioners will share guidance on implementing effective data matching practices, building a counter-fraud culture and developing in-house capacity to recover public funds. This event will also explore the additional challenges that have arisen as a result of Covid-19 and how it has lead to an increase of fraud risk and how local councils and public bodies should respond.

Policy Background

It is estimated that the government has lost between £1.3billion and £7.9billion because of Covid-19 related fraud conducted by organised crime groups, according to a report published by Policy Exchange in July 2020. With fraud against the public sector, including tax credit, benefit and student loan fraud estimated to cost £31-48billion a year, it is crucial for the public sector to come to together during this crisis to prevent criminals from taking advantage during this time.

In April 2020, the LGA published guidance on ‘Covid-19: protecting the local government sector supply chain from fraud’, outlining new and arising challenges because of Covid-19. The pandemic resulted in local authorities having to distribute business grants to those worst affected by the pandemic. It was essential for the grants to be distribute quickly, but with the adequate fraud prevention checks in place. Covid-19 has also resulted in other forms of fraud becoming prevalent including furlough fraud, vaccine scams, courier fraud, procurement fraud, identity theft and taking advantage of the elderly. It is essential going forward to tackle these rising cases of fraud and to support councils in their post-assurance work.

In October 2020, the NAO published a report which highlighted that taxpayers may lose up to £26 billion on unpaid government loans because of fraud, organise crime or default payments. Unfortunately, statistics published by CIPFA show that local councils are not well prepared to effectively tackle new cases of fraud and that staff are not adequately skilled enough to recognised fraudulent activity. Two-thirds of local government professional think fraud is a major risk for council and seven out of ten believe poor organisational controls leave local authorities vulnerable to fraudsters. Nearly half (49%) wanted that staff are not adequately trained to identify fraudulent activity. Lack of effective training was also picked up in the MHCLG Procurement Fraud Report, published in June 2020, with no mandatory training being undertaken by local councils.

Local authorities must now work together with central government to ensure the future prevention and detection of fraud, through effective use of data and intelligence, risk management, post-event assurance and investigations and use of 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 at a time when the country is facing a national crisis.

Watch this video to find out more about the online event experience.

Online Experience

  • Sector based networking and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
  • Topic based discussion groups

Key Speakers

Graeme Thomson photo
Graeme Thomson
Strategic Lead Director for Fraud Debt and Grant
Cabinet Office

Agenda

  • Day 1 - 19th May
  • Day 2 - 20th May
9:30 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform
  • One on one networking opportunities and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
9:40 am
Your Tour of the Online Conference Platform

Before proceedings get underway, this short explainer session will explore how you can get the most out of our new next generation Conference platform.

Our IG Team will run through how to make virtual connections, creating networking meet ups, accessing content on demand and how to use our new Q&A, chat functions and virtual polling tools.

9:50 am
Chair’s Welcome Address

Welcome to the Tackling Covid-19 Fraud Across the Public Sector Conference. We have designed this conference with virtual in mind from the outset and therefore have designed the day to be as practical and solutions focused as possible for you.

Some of the key themes and challenges that we will be looking at solutions to across the day will include:

  • Additional risks posed by covid-19 to fraud prevention and detection
  • Using data analytics and intelligence to prevent fraud
  • Covid-19 fraud prevention measures and fund recovery
Paul Gilmour
Paul Gilmour
Lecturer in Criminal Justice and Policing
University of Portsmouth
Confirmed
10:00 am
How Local Authorities can collaborate to tackle Fraud ?
  • Exploring the ‘Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy for 2020’ and the blueprint it provides for a coordinated response to fraud
  • Understanding the types of risks local authorities saw as a result of Covid-19
  • Highlighting how CIFAS is supporting local authorities in tackling covid-19 fraud, through its fraud covid-19 screening service and advice and resources online
  • Sharing how collaboration can support tackling fraud and Covid-19 fraud
Rachael Tiffen
Rachael Tiffen
Director, Public Sector
Cifas
Confirmed
10:20 am
Working in Partnership to Support Fraud Prevention and Detection During Covid-19
  • Outlining how NAFN worked in partnership with a range of national organisations to support fraud prevention and detection during the Covid-19 crisis
  • Sharing the success of NAFN’s Covid-19 Intelligence Alert Prevention Initiative which facilitated quick, lawful, secure and effective sharing of intelligence via alerts
  • Exploring how the alerts provided live lists of all fraudulent applications for Covid-19 grants to Local Authorities, so they could cross check within their organisations
  • Raising awareness and preventing further Covid-19 fraud within local authorities
Mark Astley
Mark Astley
Head of Service
NAFN Data and Intelligence Services
Confirmed
10:40 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
11:00 am
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual platform, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections and tour our real-time resources and content.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:20 am
Cabinet Office Counter Fraud Interactive Session: Data Analytics and Intelligence in Fraud Prevention

In this practical session the Cabinet Office Counter Fraud Function will share insights from preventing fraud over the course of the pandemic, the importance of the use of technology, data analytics and intelligence and the impact Covid-19 has had on future fraud prevention measures.

  • Exploring the importance of data analytics in Covid-19 fraud prevention
  • Learning practical insights and tools for using intelligence effectively in fraud prevention
  • Learning how to transform your fraud prevention capability by using data, technology and analytics
Graeme Thomson
Graeme Thomson
Strategic Lead Director for Fraud Debt and Grant
Cabinet Office
Confirmed
12:00 pm
Quantexa Headline Event Partner Session
Ivan Heard
Ivan Heard
Global Head of Fraud Solutions
Quantexa
Confirmed
12:20 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
12:30 pm
Chair’s Closing Address

*Programme Subject to Change

9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform
  • One on one networking opportunities and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
9:10 am
Your Tour of the Online Conference Platform

Before proceedings get underway, this short explainer session will explore how you can get the most out of our new next generation Conference platform.

Our IG Team will run through how to make virtual connections, creating networking meet ups, accessing content on demand and how to use our new Q&A, chat functions and virtual polling tools.

9:20 am
Chair’s Welcome Address

Welcome to day 2 of the Tackling Covid-19 Fraud Across the Public Sector Conference. We have designed this conference with virtual in mind from the outset and therefore have designed the day to be as practical and solutions focused as possible for you.

Some of the key themes and challenges that we will be looking at solutions to across the day will include:

  • Embedding an anti-fraud culture in your organisation
  • Undertaking fraud investigations during covid-19
  • Understanding the safe and effective use of technology in preventing and investigating fraud
Paul Gilmour
Paul Gilmour
Lecturer in Criminal Justice and Policing
University of Portsmouth
Confirmed
9:30 am
Tackling Fraud in COVID Schemes
Janet Alexander
Janet Alexander
CEPET Director, Responsible for Covid-19 Compliance
HM Revenues & Customs
Confirmed
9:50 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
10:00 am
Interactive Panel Discussion: Developing Strategies for Embedding Effective Measures for Fraud Prevention

During this discussion, panellists will discuss strategies for effectively embedding measures for fraud prevention in your organisation. Highlighting the importance of this in light of Covid-19 and as part of returning to the normal fraud function within your local authority after the pandemic.

Throughout this session delegates will also be encouraged to put forward their common challenges for the panel to discuss potential solutions that their peers can learn from.

  • Discussing how to embed anti-fraud, bribery and corruption measures effectively throughout an organisation
  • Highlighting the importance of robust governance and executive support in preventing and tackling fraud
  • Understanding the importance of the prevention agenda, with more stress on enhancing detection methods in order to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place
  • Exploring how embedding a counter-fraud culture in your organisation will assist in dealing with fraud in times of crisis
Steven Graham
Steven Graham
Fraud Manager
Durham Council
Confirmed
Michael Frost
Michael Frost
Audit and Anti-Fraud Manager
Buckinghamshire Council
Confirmed
Nick Jennings
Nick Jennings
Head of Anti-Fraud Service
Hertfordshire County Council
Confirmed
10:40 am
Practical Insights: Crytpo & Fraud
  • what are cryptocurrencies and how do they work?
  • crypto’s criminal applications and its use in money laundering
  • tracing and blocking crypto transactions
  • opportunities , and difficulties, involved in obtaining court orders to trace and freeze fraudulent transactions involving cryptocurrencies
Eric France
Eric France
Partner
Mills & Reeve LLP
Confirmed
Tom Filby
Tom Filby
Principal Associate
Mills & Reeve LLP
Confirmed
11:10 am
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual platform, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections and tour our real-time resources and content.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:30 am
Practical Insights: What Typical Anti-Competitive Practices in Public Procurement Look Like

When businesses are under economic pressure, the likelihood of harmful anti-competitive practices, known as cartels, increases.  When rivals are brought together to address market problems there can be a danger that legitimate conversations stray into dangerous anti-competitive territory – such as how to work together to ease market pressure and protect margins, for example via rigging bids for contracts, fixing prices or illegally carving up a market to their advantage.

Sean McNabb, a Director in the Cartels Enforcement team at the Competition and Markets Authority, led the largest ever cartel investigation in the UK which resulted in fines totalling £63.6million issued to 103 construction firms for bid rigging with competitors on building contracts, including many for the public sector. He is currently Project Director for an ongoing investigation into alleged anti-competitive activity in the construction sector.

Sean will talk through lessons learnt from CMA enforcement cases and what you need to know to spot, deter and report supplier wrongdoing.

Sean McNabb
Sean McNabb
Cartels Enforcement Director
Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
Confirmed
11:50 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
12:00 pm
Practical Insights: Working Effectively with the National Fraud Initiative
  • Explore how to work effectively with the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) and use data matching to help prevent and detect fraud
  • Understand the data requirements and specifications necessary to work with the NFI
  • How to get the most out of NFI matches
  • The role of the NFI in identifying and detecting covid-19 fraud
Emma MacLeod
Emma MacLeod
National Fraud Initiative
Cabinet Office
Confirmed
12:20 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
12:30 pm
Chair’s Closing Address

*Programme Subject to Change

Audience

This Forum is specifically designed for Local and Central Government, it is also open to the wider public and private sectors to encourage debate and networking.

  • Heads of Audit or Internal Audit
  • Heads of Assurance
  • Chief Executives
  • Case Managers
  • Cabinet Members for Finance and Governance
  • Investigating Officers
  • Account Managers
  • Counter-Fraud and Corruption Managers
  • Finance Directors
  • Revenues and Benefits Managers
  • Operation Managers
  • Finance Officers
  • Procurement Business Managers

Pricing

Supporters

This conference is supported by: