A whistleblowing allegation was made at a local council, alleging that a member of staff was working on a self-employed basis during office hours and fabricating their timesheets.
Minimising the risk of fraud in the public sector has never been more important
Fraud is not a victimless crime. It puts pressure on services, threatens reputations, and deprives organisations of valuable public funds.
Resources are under increasing pressure and protecting the public purse is essential. You need to prevent fraud from occurring and ensure that if it does, you’re equipped to deal with it.
Why invest in counter fraud services?
No organisation is immune from the risk of fraud. At Veritau we work hard to protect our clients and put prevention at the heart of our service, through:
- Delivering fraud awareness training
- Implementing strong controls
- Keeping you up to date on the latest threats
- Deterring potential fraudsters
- Sharing best practice across our clients
We don’t just reduce the risks of fraud happening – where it occurs, we also aim to recover any losses. According to the latest government estimates, fraud costs the public sector £40bn each year. That’s more than all the council tax paid in England last year.
Whistleblowing investigation into conflict of interest and alleged timesheet fraud
What we do
We protect our clients from the threat of fraud through prevention and deterrence. We also detect and investigate fraud when it occurs.
Every area of your organisation could be affected by fraud. We can investigate anything from fraudulently claimed council tax discounts to a major allegation of misconduct.
We provide a confidential hotline for staff – and members of the public – to report suspicions of fraud. Every allegation is taken seriously.
Team members specialise in a number of areas including:
- Internal fraud and whistleblowing
- Fraud affecting local government
- Third-party fraud
- Fraud affecting housing associations
- Data analytics
Where evidence is found, we investigate in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and other relevant legislation. Our officers are trained to interview under caution and gather evidence that can be presented at court.
We work with you to prosecute the most serious offences and also provide support on internal disciplinary cases. Client confidentiality is a key concern for us and most cases will be dealt with internally.
Our aim is to recover funds on every investigation where losses are identified. Preventing losses, safeguarding assets and delivering savings provides a significant return on investment for our services.
Specially trained staff
Our team are all Accredited Counter Fraud Specialists with experience investigating a wide range of cases. We’re experts in local government but also work for a variety of other public sector organisations including schools, national parks, fire and rescue, and housing associations.
In addition to criminal offences such as fraud and theft, we also conduct other types of investigations for our clients. This includes whistleblowing allegations, misconduct, breach of contract and more.
Assistant Director - Corporate Fraud
Jonathan is an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist with a wealth of experience delivering counter fraud services to public sector organisations across the region. He was instrumental in establishing the North Yorkshire housing fraud partnership and is an active member of various public sector counter fraud networks.
Corporate Fraud Manager
Daniel is experienced in leading on large and complex investigations, with specialist knowledge on social housing fraud. He holds Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status and the CIPFA qualification in investigative practice. Daniel is part of Veritau’s data analytics group, with experience of running data matching projects and using data analytics tools to examine evidence.
Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator
Jane is a Professional Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in the sector. She leads on council tax reduction and financial assistance scheme fraud investigations as well as coordinating benefit fraud across a range of clients. Jane also specialises in false applications for school placements.
Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator
Sarah is senior investigator with Professional Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status. She has experience investigating a large range of fraud types across the public sector. Sarah’s particular expertise is in tenancy frauds affecting local authorities and housing associations, and blue badge misuse.
Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator
Kelly holds both Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status and a qualification in investigative practice from CIPFA. She has many years of experience as a fraud investigator and leads on complex internal and whistleblowing investigations. Kelly also has experience working in a busy HR team and is ACAS trained on conducting internal investigations.
Fraud Investigator - Data Analyst
Ben leads the counter fraud part of Veritau’s data analytics group. He has experience of programming in Python, Microsoft VBA, and Caseware’s IDEAScript languages. Ben has special expertise in cybercrime and is experienced in using a various front-end analytical tools. He's a Certified IDEA Data Analyst and is also studying for his BSc in Data Science.
Services tailored to you
There isn’t one standard package. We develop a bespoke service suited to the needs of your organisation. This could be an annual contract with a set number of days for fraud prevention, support and investigation.
Or it might be a one-off contract if you need our support or guidance on a specific issue you’re concerned about. Impartial and independent advice is always available to help you deal with sensitive or confidential issues.
Demonstrating the strength of your assurance framework is important to stakeholders. Integrating counter fraud work with our other assurance services ensures you receive a holistic approach to managing risk.
Using data analytics to find fraud and error in Covid grants system
A large council client asked us to complete a piece of work to find fraud and error in the micro-grants scheme. This scheme made one-off payments available to certain businesses.
Frequently asked questions
How do we raise fraud awareness?
Raising awareness helps prevent fraud and reduces its impact on your organisation. Our counter fraud team routinely provides fraud awareness training sessions for leadership teams and staff. These can be in person, through webinars, or as part of a blended training course.
We also run fraud awareness campaigns, working with our clients’ communications teams. These can be internal, raising awareness with staff and other stakeholders. Or they can be externally focused, designed to raise public awareness and encourage reporting through our dedicated fraud hotline.
Why is it important to have a counter fraud strategy?
A counter fraud strategy is an important part of good governance for any organisation. It sets out the ways in which you can seek to prevent, detect, and deter fraud. Your strategy reassures the public and helps to support an anti-fraud culture amongst staff.
How do we recover fraud losses?
Where fraud has occurred, our team work with you to help recover any losses. We have an excellent track record of minimising the impact of fraud for our clients. Recovery may involve the use of criminal legislation or taking civil legal action.
What legislation do we work to?
Our team are all trained in relevant criminal and civil legislation, including:
- Fraud Act 2006
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996
- Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR
- Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and Investigatory Powers Act 2016
- Theft Act 1968
- Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013
- Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) Regulations 2013
- Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981
How does fraud affect public services?
It’s estimated that fraud costs the public sector around £40bn per year. CIPFA produces an annual report outlining the main fraud risks facing local authorities and the wider public sector.
CIPFA fraud and corruption tracker - summary report 2019
CIPFA recognises that each pound lost to fraud represents a loss to the public purse and reduces the ability of the public sector to provide services to people who need them.
Is there an issue you’d like to discuss?
We’re always happy to have a confidential conversation. Our services are tailored to suit you, and we work with public sector organisations of any size.