Jane has been a senior investigator for almost 10 years. She started with a small team that has grown significantly, and the work has diversified into many new fraud areas. The counter fraud team investigates 10 different types of fraud and no two days are the same. Jane started working at City of York Council in 2000 as a benefit assessor and moved to their fraud team in 2002. She worked as a verification officer before training to become an investigator, which was always a career path aspiration for Jane, so she was thrilled when the opportunity arose. In 2009, when 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. She enjoys making a difference in relation to the public purse and ensuring that money is spent as it should be.
Each member of the fraud team has a specialist area in which they become an expert. This helps members of the team understand some of the challenges faced by service areas, generate new ideas and build relationships. They become the number one contact for a particular fraud area within the team, and identify any areas of weakness in processes, develop new approaches and provide fraud awareness training to staff. Jane’s specialist fraud areas within the team are council tax reduction, financial assistance schemes, and social care. Council tax reduction replaced council tax benefit, so Jane’s extensive benefit knowledge is still being put to good use. She also enjoys helping members of the public where she can, and says that sometimes you are able to help someone in financial difficulty, as well as provide a service to the local authority.
As a senior investigator Jane looks after four of the fraud team, including investigators, a trainee and a support officer. She has regular one-to-one meetings with each of her staff and supports them with their case load. One of Jane’s 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. Senior investigators also have responsibility for client liaison and Jane works closely with City of York Council and Hambleton District Council to deliver a high quality counter fraud service and promote an anti-fraud culture throughout each organisation.