The Council can be exposed to fraud and corruption through a variety of internal and external sources. In 2016 the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) estimated that fraud against local authorities alone cost £336m. Telford & Wrekin Council is committed to tackling fraud. We operate a zero tolerance on fraud, corruption and bribery.
Action is taken to prevent, detect and investigate all types of fraud to ensure that public funds are used for those in genuine need. Action includes prosecution against those committing fraud. Steps are also taken to recover any losses and where appropriate, receive maximum publicity to deter potential fraudsters. The Investigation Team, within Audit and Governance, investigate all aspects of fraud against the Council (local authority).
The following is a list of some of the common types of fraud that may be committed against the Council. This list is not exhaustive and there may be other ways in which fraudsters attempt to steal money from the local authority.
An agency worker is supplied by an employment agency to carry out agreed tasks for a specified period of time.
- claiming for hours that they have not worked
- charging inflated rates
- not providing work of the required standard.
View our Benefit and Council Tax Fraud page to find out more about reporting suspected fraud in relation to:
- Council Tax liability
- Council Tax Support
- Housing Benefit
- Single Person Discount.
View our Blue Badge parking permit page for information about reporting suspected fraud.
View our Business Rates fraud page for information about reporting suspected Business Rates fraud.
An employee manipulates the councils systems or fails to comply with policies for their own benefit or the benefit of someone else.
Are you aware of a council employee who is obtaining payments or benefits to which they are not entitled?
- bogus customer records and bank accounts are created so that false payments can be generated
- processing false claims from accomplices for benefits, grants or repayments
- self authorising payments to themselves
- claiming travel and subsistence for journeys that were not made, making false client entertainment claims and making claims for amounts higher than that spent
- making unauthorised amendments to documents such as timesheets
- forging signatures to authorise payment
- staff on sick leave but working elsewhere
- abuses of flexible working time systems
- conducting personal work while being paid by the council
- supplying council information to outsiders for personal gain
- adjusting records of the amounts owed by customers in return for cash rewards or other incentives.
Members of the public make insurance claims against the Council where they have faced personal injury or loss and believe the Council to be responsible, for example, injury arising from accidents on a public footpath.
Are you aware of people who make false insurance claims against the Council? For example, they:
- exaggerate the extent of injuries or damage caused by a genuine accident
- claim that an item that is lost, stolen or damaged is worth more than its real value
- claim for an item that did not exist
- claim for an accident that did not happen
- stage an accident so that a claim can be made
- claim for an accident that happened elsewhere
- submit invoices that have been inflated to include work or items that should not form part of the insurance claim.
Are you aware of people or organisations that are making payments to the Council using money that resulted from the proceeds of crime?
Procurement is the process of acquiring goods and services in order to satisfy the needs of a person, group or organisation. Council procurement ranges from purchasing small commodities such as stationery to large one-off purchases such as new street lighting or buildings; through to long term specialist services such as waste management or care provision.
Are you aware of any person's or organisations that are not providing goods and services in accordance with the council's requirements, for example:
- bidding organisations collude to agree that they will not bid competitively for a particular contract
- employees of the Council have been given inducements (bribes) in order to favour a person or organisation when awarding contracts; inducements may include money, goods, services, holidays and hospitality
- employees failing to declare an interest in one of the businesses bidding
- employees making false payments or overpayments to businesses
- employees clearing invoices for good for personal use
- businesses submitting false invoices for work not completed, goods not provided and for extra costs deliberately omitted from the original quotation or tender
- businesses providing duplicate invoices for goods and services where payment has already been completed
- businesses overcharging including, inflating hourly rates and applying excessive mark-up of goods
- businesses providing goods and services that are inferior to those specified or expected
- businesses providing false or inflated performance information to receive higher payments
- businesses providing sub-standard goods.
Recruitment and Selection is the process of securing the employment of the right person, with the right skills at the right time. The process is heavily governed by extensive legislation.
Are you aware of any people who are working for the Council who should not be? For example:
- the recruitment process has been manipulated to favour one applicant
- employees who provided false or inaccurate information on their application, for example, providing false references, qualifications and work histories
- employees who have provided fake or forged documents as proof of their identity
- employees who do not have a valid permit to work in the UK
- recruitment of a family member or a friend.
Personal Budget direct payments have become an increasingly common way to deliver adult social care. Direct payments are made to service users enabling them to have greater control over the purchase of their care provision. The transfer of the control of funds to those requiring care gives rise to an increased risk of fraud directly against the service user, perpetrated by those providing care or by those managing funds on behalf of the service user.
Are you aware of people who receive a Personal Budget payment direct to them so that they can arrange and pay for their own care needs, but the care is not being provided as intended, for example:
- falsely obtained a higher level of personal budget than their true condition and care needs require
- failing to declare capital or assets in order to obtain a higher level of personal budget
- applying for or obtaining multiple Personal Budgets from different Councils
- paying for care that has not been provided by the carer
- providing false or fake receipts and invoices to justify Personal Budget expenditure
- purchasing items or services not related to their care needs
- paying close family members as carers, where they are not eligible to be a carer
- failing to report changes in circumstances where their care needs have reduced
- a carer using a person's personal budgets for their own use
- a carer continuing to receive Personal Budget payments after a person has died
- vulnerable individuals being financially abused to take advantage of their money.
Members of the public are very important in the fight against fraud. If anyone believes that someone is obtaining services, from the Council, to which they are not entitled, it is very important that they report it to the Council. When reporting suspected fraud please be as specific as possible, the more detail we receive the greater the chance of a successful outcome.
You can report suspected fraud using our online form or alternatively you can write, email or call the team using the following details.
Telford & Wrekin Council
Telephone: 01952 383839