Public Sector Fraud

This FOI seeks to understand what Councils are currently doing to identify and tackle public sector fraud.  

Does the Council have a Counter Fraud Team or persons in the Council responsible for investigating public sector fraud cases? 

Devon County Council does not have a specific counter fraud team, but does have a dedicated internal audit provider (Devon Audit Partnership) that deals with fraud referrals. 

In May 2018, the former Counter Fraud Team of Plymouth City Council transferred to Devon Audit Partnership considerably strengthening the Council’s capacity and skills in investigating fraud. 

If so, how many fraud investigators do you have? 

Since May 2018, the Council has been able to call upon 7 qualified fraud investigators, plus resources from a dedicated internal audit team (Devon Audit Partnership) which employs 26 fte (full time equivalent) auditors (excluding the above-mentioned fraud investigators). 

If not, are you part of a shared counter fraud service with another council or other organisation?  Please detail who. 

See above response 

Did the Council’s benefits/counter fraud team transfer to SFIS when SFIS was established? 


Has the Council increased/decreased the number of fraud investigation officers within the last 24 months?  If so, by how many? 

Please see above response re the transfer of Counter Fraud Specialists to Devon Audit Partnership. 

How many fraud referrals or reports of fraud did the council receive in financial year 207/18? 


Please supply a notional value for fraud successfully stopped and/or prosecuted in 2017/18? 

We estimate in the region of £20,000 

Do you record fraud statistics?  If so, are they published? Where? Online? 

Yes. Statistics are reported to the Audit Committee at least annually in the Annual Internal Audit Report  Please refer to page 6 of this report.

All Audit Committee reports are available on line.  

How do you record and manage your fraud cases?  Spreadsheet or software package? 

Software package 

Do you use a fraud case management system?  If so, which one? 


How many referrals/cases did you receive from the NFI (National Fraud Initiative) in 2017/18?  How many led to a successful prosecution/outcome? 

Matches referred 20,568.  Resulting in 0 frauds and 17 error corrected

The referrals / matches were made available in January 2017 therefore this is the results from the 16/17 NFI exercise. 

Do you use reports from NAFN?  If so, how much did you spend on these in 2017/18? 

We have access to NAFN services but did not use these in 2017/18, therefore this information is not held. 

Do you use credit bureau reports/data/services?  If so, how much did you spend on these in 2017/18?  

We have previously used such reports, but no spend on these in 2017/18, therefore this information is not held. 

Do you have plans to increase your fraud capability in 2018/19?