Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
There was submitted a report by the Council’s Assistant Director (Finance & IT)(report A.2) which presented to the Audit Committee for its approval an updated Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy.
It was reported that the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy had last been updated in March 2020 and it remained subject to an annual review process which had recently been completed.
An amended strategy was attached as Appendix A to the aforementioned report which reflected a number of minor amendments emerging as part of the annual review process but overall the Strategy remained based on CIPFA’s Code of Practice on managing the risk of fraud and corruption as adopted by the Committee at its meeting held on 22 March 2018. The Strategy set out the Council’s commitments along with the following key areas:
· Purpose, Commitment and Procedure;
· Legislation and General Governance;
· Standards, Expectations and Commitment;
· Roles and Responsibilities;
· Detection and Investigation; and
· Resources Invested in Counter Fraud and Corruption.
The intention was to continue to include the scope for prosecutions within the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy itself and include the relevant framework against which prosecutions would be considered. Those changes had been included within the ‘Detection and Investigation’ section of the Strategy. The Strategy would continue to be subject to an annual review process.
Members were informed that the amendments to the Strategy also reflected the response to the COVID 19 pandemic where fraud risks had unfortunately increased during such difficult times. Work remained on-going in terms of lessons learnt from the last 12 months and further changes to the Strategy were likely to be required, especially as relevant regulatory bodies were expected to publish updated anti-fraud and corruption guidance following the COVID 19 pandemic. Subject to the scale and timing of potential changes, a revised Strategy would be presented to the Committee during the year or form part of the annual review early in 2022.
Updates against the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy Action Plan were also included within the aforesaid Appendix A.
The Committee formally commended the Officers within Financial Services for putting in place pro-active anti-fraud checks in relation to the issuing of the central Government financed Covid-19 amelioration business grants.
It was moved by Councillor Alexander, seconded by Councillor Fairleyand:-
RESOLVED that the amended Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy, as set out in Appendix A to item A.2 of the Report of the Assistant Director (Finance & IT), be approved, subject to the incorporation within of the minor alterations and additions agreed at the meeting.
Report author: Clare Lewis
Publication date: 27/04/2021
Date of decision: 22/04/2021
Decided at meeting: 22/04/2021 - Audit Committee