Fraud – New panel strapped for cash

The long-awaited Fraud Advisory Panel, designed to provide business, organisations and government with information and advice on how to tackle fraud, was finally launched on Monday. But it is running on a shoestring budget, temporarily funded and housed by the English ICA.

George Staple, chairman of the panel and a former head of the Serious Fraud Office, admitted funding is a problem. ‘We would have liked to have greater support from commerce and industry, but that requires a track record,’ he said.

Until more cash can be raised there is an ‘understanding’ the English ICA will provide meeting rooms, admin-istrative support and funding for the panel’s first year.

The panel has set up three working parties, aimed at gathering facts on fraud, establishing methods of preventing fraud on a general basis and looking at the effectiveness of present fraud investigations to assess how they can be improved.

Coopers & Lybrand partner Tony Bingham, chairman of the intelligence gathering working party, said: ‘The purpose of the panel is to gather information and then use it to influence, advise, recommend or lobby the organisations who can make the changes.’

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