Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy

Our commitment to dealing with acts of fraud is set out in the following Counter Fraud & Corruption Strategy and Policies.

Here is what we are doing.

Develop a counter fraud culture

These are our policies:

We aim to operate in a culture where everyone is aware of their responsibilities and won't tolerate fraud.  This means that:

  • All councillors and staff are expected to act with integrity and lead by example
  • Senior managers are required to deal swiftly and firmly with those who defraud or attempt to defraud the council
  • Employees and members of the public can feel confident enough to 'blow the whistle' - report instances or suspicions of fraud and corruption - knowing they will be handled professionally
     

Preventing and detecting fraud

We have an array of measures and procedures to assist in combating fraud and corruption.  It is determined to keep pace with any future developments in preventative and detection techniques and to be able to respond to any future government and CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre incentives for the detection of fraud.

We actively take part in the National Fraud Initiative, a data matching exercise run by the Cabinet Office. For further information see the National Fraud Initiative pages on GOV.UK.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match.  This is usually personal information.  Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.  In addition to this the council will use information provided to all council departments in local data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.
 

Reducing the risk of fraud

We will make it difficult for people to attempt to defraud the council by putting controls and codes of practice in place. We will seek out perpetrators and professionally and thoroughly investigate all suspicions.
 

Taking  effective action

We will prosecute or take disciplinary action where necessary and seek to recover any losses to the council.

You can find out in detail how we aim to tackle fraud and corruption by reading our Counter Fraud & Corruption Strategy & Policies.
 

Reporting allegations or suspicions of fraud

Whilst we have put in place arrangements to detect and prevent fraud and corruption activity, it recognises that the alertness of members of the public, other stakeholders, Council employees and Councillors plays a key role in identifying fraudulent activity taking place.

Members of the public and other stakeholders are encouraged to come forward and report any concerns or suspicions they may have.

If you have any concerns regarding a suspected fraud or corruption either against the council or within it, you can contact any of the officers listed below:

The Internal Audit Manager, on 01799 510610  sbronson@uttlesford.gov.uk

The Monitoring Officer, on 01799 510416 MonitoringOfficer@uttlesford.gov.uk

The Section 151 Officer (Director of Finance and Corporate Services), on 01799 510421 awebb@uttlesford.gov.uk

The Chief Executive, on 01799 510400  dfrench@uttlesford.gov.uk

The Council's External Auditor,  EY. The external auditors are completely independent from the Council and can be contacted on 01223 394400 or by writing to them at One Cambridge Business Park, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB4 0WZ or by visiting their website

Through the any of the other options detailed in the Icon for pdf Fraud Response Plan [113.55KB] and the Icon for pdf Whistleblowing Policy [304.78KB]
 

Our Whistleblowing Policy

Our Icon for pdf Whistleblowing Policy [304.78KB] explains how we aim to maintain a working environment where people are able to raise concerns where they think there is misconduct or malpractice.

We recognise that sometimes employees, councillors or stakeholders working with or on behalf of us may not feel able to express concerns they have.  This may be because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the Council, or they may fear harassment or victimisation.

We are committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability.  In line with that commitment we expect and support those who have serious concerns about any aspect of the Council's work to come forward and voice those concerns.  The Whistleblowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable individuals to raise concerns within the Council, without fear of reprisals, rather than overlooking a problem or "blowing the whistle" outside. The policy does, however, recognise that individuals must be able to take matters further if they are dissatisfied with our response.