Fraud and Corruption
Detected cases of fraud and corruption are on the increase and all local authorities are subject to the risk of fraudulent or corrupt activity.
Fraud is a serious matter that affects both the council and the local area. Fraud within the public sector costs the taxpayer billions of pounds each year. We are committed to ensuring that fraud and corruption is reduced and the risk is minimized by operating a zero-tolerance culture of fraud corruption.
How to report Fraud and Corruption
If you suspect someone of committing any of the types of fraud described below you should make an immediate note of your concerns and report them in confidence using one of the following methods:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01306 879284
Allegations will be taken seriously and if appropriate they will be investigated. All allegations are dealt with in the strictest confidence, and your identity will be protected.
What is Fraud and Corruption?
Fraud is the intentional distortion of financial statements or other records for gain or to mislead or misrepresent.
Corruption is the offering or acceptance of an inducement or reward to influence the action of any person or the failure to disclose an interest in order to enjoy financial or other gain.
Fraud and corruption can be committed by
- a councillor
- an employee of Mole Valley District Council (MVDC)
- a contractor or supplier to MVDC
- a member of the public who has dealings with MVDC (i.e. claimant / applicant / resident / liable person).
Forms of fraud
Fraud and corruption against the Council can take many forms. Some examples of potential frauds include:
- Council Tax Single Discounts and Exceptions (i.e. falsely declaring that there is only 1 adult in a property in order to obtain 25% discount)
- Social Housing Tenancy, Homelessness and Housing allocation Fraud
- Council Tax Support Fraud (for example a claimant failing to declare an income, savings, or other adults living with them, including partners
- Housing Benefit
- offences committed by staff or members (i.e. accepting bribes to change decisions, or favour a contact or planning application)
- recruitment fraud (i.e. misrepresenting personal information, experience , qualifications and identity)
If in doubt, please raise your concerns.
What is the Council doing about Fraud?
The Council has a responsibility to protect public funds and ensure that any allegations of fraud and/or corruption are fully investigated.
For that reason the Council has a dedicated team made up of qualified and accredited investigation specialists. The team's duties include:
- preventing and reducing the risk of fraud
- detecting and investigating allegations of fraud
- taking legal action against those committing the fraud
The Council is committed to ensuring that fraud is prevented, detected, and investigated fully, and that the appropriate action is taken. We will investigate any reported fraud and if we have sufficient evidence and we will take legal action where appropriate.
What happens when I report my concerns?
Any information or referral of suspected fraud is dealt with confidentially by MVDC's Fraud and Investigation Team. An investigator will normally carry out an investigation and will gather all of the relevant information and evidence before approaching the person concerned.
The team works closely with officers from other agencies including the Department for Work and Pensions, Social Housing providers, other council's, and other national crime investigation organisations. In certain situations, the person who is alleged to have committed fraud may be invited to attend a formal Interview under caution.
What action can MVDC take?
There are various options available to MVDC if the decision is made that an offence has been committed. MVDC has in place an Anti-Fraud and Corruption Prosecution and Sanction policy which sets out the options the Council has when dealing with proven fraudulent or corrupt acts. This includes criminal prosecution.
MVDC also has a number of policies relating to fraud and corruption, see 'Downloads'.