Counter Fraud Success
South Staffordshire Council is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where fraud, corruption and theft are not tolerated.
The council spends money, which it receives from the public and like all public sector bodies is at risk of fraudulent activity. The Council has robust policies and procedures in place which are designed to minimise the risk of fraud and continually monitors these policies and procedures to ensure they are effective. However a risk of fraud remains and everyone, residents, Members of the Council, and Council staff have an important role to play in preventing and combating abuse of the system and in doing so will help to ensure our resources are available to those who need them.
The Council's successes in tackling fraud.
- The Council is constantly checking, monitoring and improving its systems. An effective method is for the Council to match information from its own systems with data provided by local and national data matching exercises involving other reputable and appropriate organisations. These include the National Fraud Initiative which is run by the cabinet office and compares data provided by public bodies to identify potential fraudsters, The Housing Benefit Matching Service with The Department of Work and Pensions and The Real Time Information exchange with Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs. These exercises have proven very successful in identifying potential frauds and also in providing assurance that future risk is minimised.
- South Staffs Council has been successful in removing Single Person Discounts from Council Tax accounts where more than one person is found to be living at a property. The Council always looks to recover money lost from inappropriately claimed discounts and considers civil or legal action against fraudsters.
- Until recently the Council investigated Housing Benefit fraud where claimants failed to report changes in their circumstances or made false statements to obtain benefit they were not entitled to. When identified these people were issued with a penalty, caution or in more serious cases prosecuted. Responsibility for Housing Benefit fraud has now passed to The Department of Work and Pensions; however the Council continues to work to prevent, detect and prosecute Council Tax Support fraud and will actively seek to recover monies obtained by fraud.
- The Council has worked successfully with other authorities and registered social landlords to combat tenancy fraud including illegal sub-lets, abandoned properties and right to buy fraud. We work to ensure that only people with a genuine need and right to social housing obtain and keep a tenancy.
Do you suspect someone of committing fraud? Make a referral now via the Link below