PracticePeople In PracticeCouncil fraud levels ‘tip of the iceberg’

Council fraud levels 'tip of the iceberg'

The Audit Commission has admitted the level of detected fraud in local government is the tip of the iceberg and that it does not know the full extent of losses to the public purse.

It also slammed councils over lack of policies for countering fraud.

One in six do not have an anti-fraud strategy in place, while one in eight do not have a whistleblowing policy.

Revealing the results of the Commission’s latest annual local government fraud report this week, Sir Andrew Foster, controller of the Audit Commission, refused to speculate on the real level of fraud, instead concentrating on the level of uncovered fraud which had fallen for the first time in 10 years. He said: ‘Where money goes fraud will follow, and criminals have shown themselves to be very adaptable.’

The survey showed the amount of detected fraud had fallen from Pounds 104.4m in 1999 to Pounds 100.7m in 2000, but the number of cases had dropped dramatically from 206,000 to 145,000.

Links

Protecting the Public Purse is available on www.audit-commission.gov.uk.

Welsh Assembly is ‘exposed to fraud’

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