Highest ever fraud identified by local Councils


Fraud valued at £188 million was detected by England’s councils in 2013/14, a ten-fold increase since 1990. The figure beats all records for the past 25 years, the Audit Commission revealed in its latest report on fraud in local government.

The Audit Commission’s Chairman, Jeremy Newman concludes: ’I urge the government to mandate the provision of fraud data from all local authorities, after the Commission’s closure, to ensure that future reports are able to provide as complete and authoritative a picture of fraud detection as ‘Protecting the Public Purse’. This would help preserve the high levels of transparency and accountability that English councils currently exhibit in their approach to countering fraud and prevent those councils that are not yet playing their part in the fight against fraud, from avoiding public scrutiny.

Our Counter-Fraud team moves to CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, when the Commission closes at the end of March 2015, where they will have the opportunity to maintain the hard-won advances made, by the Audit Commission, in the battle against fraud in local government. Although we will be turning off the lights at the Commission, I hope the spotlight on identifying and preventing fraud will continue’.