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Counter Measures No3 - Durham's anti fraud team recovers £4.5m since 2015

talking local government

Release Date: 07/18/2019

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talking local government

Paul Bradley, Durham's Chief Internal Auditor, tells Rachael Tiffen of Cifas how Durham Council’s highly successful counter fraud programme has gone from £0 - £4.5m in five years..

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This conversation reveals how Durham County Council has developed its comprehensive counter fraud strategy from pretty much a standing start to a significant activity that to date has identified or intercepted £4.5m worth of fraudulent activity.

The team has worked on 2001 cases covering the old favourites - blue badge, business rates, council tax discounts, tenancy frauds, procurement – and some newer ones associated with things like right-to-buy and direct payments for social care. In one case mentioned, a £100,000 fraud was identified from direct payments arranged for a disabled person who was some time later spotted partying on social media.

The hard work of building internal support and external networks (police, social landlords, other councils) is well described, including engagement with national initiatives like ‘Fighting Fraud and Corruptions Locally’ managed by Cifas.

Cifas is now beginning work on a new version of the strategy for publication in 2020, and seeking volunteers to help. Contact Rachael at Cifas to find out more.