To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we're doing a focus on 10 staff members to learn more about the people who make Veritau what it is. Last week we had focuses on five members of staff, which continues this week with another five from our different service areas.
Jane is one of our Senior Fraud Investigators and has been with Veritau from the beginning. She started working at City of York Council in 2000 as a housing benefit assessor, and in 2002 moved to the fraud team. She worked as a verification officer before training to become an investigator. Being an investigator was always an ideal job Jane had in mind, and was thrilled when the opportunity came up. She took a pay cut to move from the private sector to the council, as she wanted to do something worthwhile. She enjoys making a difference in relation to the public purse and ensuring that money is spent as it should be.
As a benefits officer, Jane had contact with the fraud team and got to know about their work. She applied for a role in verification which involved doing lots of visits to people’s homes. When she trained as an investigator in 2004, the majority of the work was housing benefit fraud. She studied for the PINS professional qualification, which converted to Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status. In 2009, Veritau was formed. Jane says they feared the unknown, but setting up the shared service was one of the best things they could have done, otherwise the counter fraud team may have been lost.
Jane has been a senior investigator for nine years now. She started with a small team which has grown significantly, and the team’s work has diversified into many new fraud areas. There is much variety in the work, and they investigate 10 different types of fraud – “no two days are the same”. Jane’s specialist fraud areas within the team are Council Tax Reduction, financial assistance claims, and social care. Council Tax Reduction replaced Council Tax Benefit, so Jane’s extensive benefit knowledge is still being put to good use.
One of her favourite parts of the job is working as part of a team and seeing it expand; she has trained many of the new team members over the years. She also enjoys helping members of the public where she can, and remarks that sometimes you are able to help someone in financial difficulty, as well as provide a service to the local authority. In her spare time, Jane enjoys painting, theatre, gardening, photography, and writing.