Agenda item


The Director of Legal and Governance (and Monitoring Officer) presented the report providing an overview and update in respect of the Council’s approach to anti-fraud and corruption.  Advising the Committee that the basic principles of any Local Authority should be the following:-


·                stop fraudulent cases from entering Council systems;

·                find any fraudulent cases already in the system;

·                stop payments from going to people who are not entitled to it;

·                punish those people who commit fraud;

·                recover any fraudulent overpayments;

·                deter people from trying to commit fraud.


The Central Midlands Audit Partnership (CMAP) had carried out a baseline audit of the Council’s Anti-fraud and corruption measures in light of changes to the Council’s internal audit provision, the housing management function returning to in-house provision, the transfer of the benefit fraud officers to DWP and the introduction of new CIPFA guidance relating to the Code of Corporate Governance.


The Audit was finalised in January 2018 and found that CMAP was able to provide reasonable assurance as most of the areas reviewed were found to be adequately controlled, however, there were some systems requiring improvements.  Thirteen recommendations were made and accepted, ten of which have been completed, the three remaining recommendations are in the process of being implemented.


The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is a sophisticated data matching exercise that matches electronic data within and between participating bodies to prevent and detect fraud.   Every two years the NFI provides local authorities with matches against Council information in areas of risk to the taxpayer.  During 2018/19 the Council received 2049 matches across all the NFI datasets.


Derby City Council’s Counter Fraud Team is in the process of reviewing the NFI “801 Council Tax Single Person Discount” report on behalf of the Council. This report contains data as a result of matching Council Tax single person discount records against the electoral roll records. 


Members were advised that to date the amount billed as a result of this exercise realises an actual council tax discount saving of £25,620.81.


The Director of Legal and Governance (and Monitoring Officer) advised the Committee that in order to ensure a robust Anti-Fraud and Corruption framework was maintained a number of actions were required, they include:-


·                     reviewing policies and processes to ensure they remain fit for purpose and in line with current best practice. It is anticipated that the updated policies will be finalised in readiness for the Audit Committee on 2 December, 2019;

·                     finalising training in relation to bespoke revenues and benefits training and the roll out of the generic electronic tool;

·                     implement the recommendations suggested by CMAP to ensure that a clear corporate approach to NFI and data matching is developed with the lead officer monitoring and managing output to ensure that resources are utilised as effectively as possible;

·                     Derby City Council’s Counter Fraud Team has recommended the creation of a referrals system for the Council to refer allegations.  This would enable all potential fraud cases to be tracked and recorded.

·                     the Counter Fraud Team have also recommended developing an online Anti-Fraud portal.



that the Committee note the overview and update in respect of the Council’s approach to anti-fraud and corruption and support the actions detailed within the report.



To ensure the Committee charged with overseeing the Council’s approach to anti-fraud and corruption is updated and able to challenge and comment upon the Council’s efforts to prevent, detect and investigate fraud.

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