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Fraud

This page provides information relating to the Council’s counter fraud work, which includes benefit cases which have been investigated and closed and how much the authority has spent on investigation and prosecution of fraud. Please note that the information relates to the 2018/19 financial year.

Number of occasions where powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014 or similar powers were used

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The powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014 came into force on 6 April 2014.

  •  The Council used these powers on five occasions.

In relation to Council Tax Support investigations and the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013.

  • The Council used these powers on two occasions.

Total number (absolute and full-time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud

  • Total employees: 2
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE): 2

These figures do not include the work undertaken by the Audit and Fraud Administration Officer, Investigator - Digital or time spent by the Counter Fraud Investigations Manager.

Total number (absolute and full-time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter-fraud specialists:

  • Total employees: 4
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE): 4

Total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud

  •  Total = £202,347

This figure is based on the expenditure allocated to Fraud on the Audit Services Cost Centre and includes staff and support costs.

Benefit cases

The responsibility for investigating Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit fraud is now the responsibility of the Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), therefore the Council carried out no direct investigations in this regard.

However, the Council received and forwarded 540 fraud referrals to SFIS.

There were the following Sanctions applied in respect of offences relating to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit:

  • Administrative Penalty - 24
  • Prosecution - 26
  • Total Sanctions - 50

Other cases

In addition to the above there were a number of non-benefit fraud cases investigated:

Tenancy Fraud

  • 76 referrals were received
  • 19 cases resulted in the properties coming back for re-allocation.

Council Tax Support

  • 46 referrals were received.

There were the following Sanctions applied in respect of offences relating to Council Tax Support:

  • Administrative Penalty - 6
  • Prosecution - 11

Single Person Discount    

  • 16 fraud referrals were received and the associated investigations identified recoverable overpayments amounting to £11,766.

Internal Cases

  • Whistleblowing - 2
  • Concessionary Fares - 1
  • Social Care - 0
  • Expenses fraud - 0
  • Abuse of position fraud - 0
  • Other fraud - 5