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Posted by: John Brace | 18th August 2014

Government asks councils in England to bid for £16 million of money to tackle fraud

Government asks councils in England to bid for £16 million of money to tackle fraud

 

Last month, the Department for Communities and Local Government invited local councils to make bids to it (closing deadline is 5th September 2014) for £16 million of money to help with counter fraud. This is not for the purpose of tackling benefit fraud (which is a different issue) but would be for projects to reduce the risk of for example the £45,779.46 Wirral Council lost in a care home fraud last year.

Certainly Wirral Council’s counter-fraud team (considering the size of the organisation and complexity of its finances) isn’t very big. The last time somebody asked how big it was I think the answer was two. Since then I think at least one person has left who I assume was in counter fraud (although whether the post has been filled or left vacant as a way to save money I’m not sure). So as fraud is losing Wirral Council money and if they made a successful bid the money would not have to come out their existing budgets I hope Wirral Council does bid (although who knows)?

I know counter-fraud is at times a rather dull back office function and I doubt on the doorstep people are saying to political parties “You must do something about improving your counter fraud activities!”. However it is important, because although the risk of fraud may be small, the amounts can be large (some authorities have lost far larger amounts in frauds). Admittedly with the fraud referred to above Wirral Council admitted that the fraud was sophisticated and convincing but that staff hadn’t followed their internal rules to prevent this sort of thing happening. I think the staff involved were “subjected to disciplinary measures”.

However to make it as easy as I can for Wirral Council, here is a link to the application form and is a link to the nine pages as to what it is about and when they will get the money if their bid is approved. So, if you have any juicy tips about Wirral Council losing money to fraudsters (recently) or have some suggestions as to what they could do better to reduce the risk of fraud please leave a comment (even if it has to be anonymous)!

In the interests of open reporting here is a link to the DCLG press release about this.

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Responses

  1. Reference previous, please excuse the lack of formality Mr Brace and Mr Cardin, I feel that I have been watching your blogs with some interest forever. Both of you are extremely adept in what you both do and I appreciate the knowledge both have passed on. I, although it would be wrong to assume believe that when talking about planning and other matters, you have noticed a distinct lack of EIA’s and IA’s

    • Thanks for your comments about my blog and Paul’s, I do wonder about the people I know who read but don’t comment! Sometimes they have face to face conversations with me though.

      I presume EIA stands for Equality Impact Assessment or Environmental Impact Assessment and IA I’m not really sure. Pretty sure you don’t mean Internal Audit.

      I’m not really a planning specialist! I’ve seen equality impact assessments done for policy changes but if it’s environmental impact assessments you are referring to it depends on the planning application. Some have to have a lot of extra detail included to do with the flora and fauna, it depends where the planning application is and what policies apply to it (for example a site of Special Scientific Interest, greenbelt etc).

  2. You’re asking me !Me!

    With Wirral it is “over the Counter fraud” its that easy .Don’t even need a prescription. Dope on demand no questions asked.

    You want greenbacks just write an invoice, they’ll pay. Write anything say “Development” or whatever they’ll pay.

    Atlantic City ‘s got nothing on this burgh.

    • yes you !You! 😀

      Now, now are they really that bad at accounting? Are you implying they don’t read the invoices before paying (but they do before giving them to me as they like to redact bits out)?

      Atlantic City, well Martin Morton did point to Wirral Council’s links with organised crime. However organised isn’t how I’d usually describe Wirral Council! 😀

  3. Quis custodiet custodes ipses? Read that on city hall in Gotham man.

    Signifies what do you do when the sheriff’s bad too? and his deputy?

    What do yer do when Caesar’s wife is not above suspicion?

    If you’re the boss you kill her right? But what if she paints herself virginal, what if she is Counter Fraud? What if the Burgess man cant sack nobody, what if the bad guys are the untouchables and not Mr Ness?

    Wirral Bad City is what yer get. Get used to it get with the program

    • Well the short answer to the first question is I do (if you’re referring to politicians/police), but then there are people who watch me too.

      Your comparisons to the Roman Empire are a stretch, some councillor’s wives are also councillors (the Hodsons and the Jones).

      Don’t be silly about Burgess sacking someone, that an HR function. 😀 He may be “Head of Paid Service” but HR is run by Chris Hyams. Bad guys untouchable, well nobody is indispensable. People have to be nice to people on the way up as they’ll need them on the way down.

      Wirral Bad City, I don’t think they’re going to use it as a tourist slogan! I think I haven’t been read into the program. Maybe I’m just too junior….

  4. […] 7) Government asks councils in England to bid for £16 million of money to tackle fraud […]


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