To consider the results of the Audit Committee’s annual review of the Council’s Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy, and statistical data on cases where sources of information indicated that fraudulent activity might be occurring.
The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) introduced a report detailing the results of the annual review of the Council’s Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy and statistical data on cases where sources of information had indicated that fraudulent activity might have been occurring.
The last review of the Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy had been conducted by the Audit Committee in September 2018, with no amendments required. The Policy, attached as Appendix 1 to the report, had been updated to reflect new job titles and roles arising from Phase 1 of Customer Connect. CIPFA’s Counter-Fraud Assessment Tool was also attached at Appendix 4. The Counter Fraud Strategy approved by the Audit Committee in September 2017 had also been updated to reflect new job roles and was attached at Appendix 2. Attached at Appendix 3 to the report was the Anti-Money Laundering Policy, also updated to reflect new job roles and titles. In addition, the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally 2016-19 and a summary of work undertaken and the outcome of investigations excluding National Fraud Initiative investigations were attached at Appendices 5 and 6 respectively.
A question having been raised as to whether the Council’s procedures adequately covered the issue of fraud and cyber attacks, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) explained that arrangements had been thoroughly reviewed and that appropriate policies were in place with regard to internet use, data security and prevention of cyber crime. The Authority had, in addition, taken out cyber security insurance cover this year. In response to a positive comment regarding identification of fraud, she explained that the Department of Work and Pensions having taken over responsibility for sanctioning Housing Benefit cases in 2015, the areas being examined by the Council had changed and that focus was on those of highest risk. The Finance Lead Specialist undertook to address a suggestion raised with regard to anti-fraud procedures in the light of recent changes in staffing.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the following be noted:-
(a) the review of the Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy and the Anti-Money Laundering Policy;
(b) the review against the CIPFA Code of Practice on Managing the Risk of Fraud and Corruption Counter-Fraud Assessment Tool and Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally 2016-29 Checklist; and
(c) anti-fraud activity; and
(2) the amendments to the Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy and the Anti-Money Laundering Policy be recommended to full Council for approval.