Wirral Council reveals it identified £1,256,823 of fraud and £409,311 of “irregularity” in the last year
One of the advantages to the new transparency regime imposed on Wirral Council by national government regulations is that they’re being forced to publish more information about their activities by the deadline of 31st December 2014.
For example the information below is on their fraud investigating efforts. As I’m obliged to do so under the terms of the licence I will state “This contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.”
Here are the statistics published about Wirral Council for fraud in 2013/14 on the data.gov.uk website. My comments are added in italics.
Number of occasions powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information)(England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers used 2.
The regulations explicitly referred to came into effect until 6th April 2014, therefore couldn’t have actually been used at all by Wirral Council in the 13/14 financial year. Looking at the new regulations it’s about requesting information from such as banks on people suspected of housing fraud.
Total number (absolute and full-time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud 7
Total number (absolute and full-time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists 7
Not quite sure whether these are a total of 14 employees or the same 7 in both categories.
Amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud £159,000
Probably a combination of employee time, legal costs and external costs
Number of fraud cases investigated 507
So split between 7 FT employees, that’s an average of 72 each a year or 26 hours per a case.
Total number of occasions on which fraud was identified 71
Well I’d expect this number to be less than 507.
Total number of occasions on which irregularity was identified 436
In other words in every fraud case investigated where fraud wasn’t found, it was put down as irregularity.
Total monetary value of the fraud that was detected £1,256,823
Well I expected it would be something, but £1.2 million in a year (compared to the size of Wirral Council’s budget and financial transactions isn’t too bad I suppose. So each fraud was on average for an amount of £17,701, but cost on average £2,239 per identified fraud case to investigate.
Total monetary value of the irregularity that was detected £409,311
I still don’t fully understand what irregularity means but there you go! Maybe someone can leave a comment and explain that!
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