Agenda item

Counter-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Update

Counter-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Update

Executive Summary

This counter-fraud update report informs on the Council’s arrangements in the fight against fraud and corruption and recent work undertaken to identify how we are addressing and mitigating risk.

The Governance Risk and Audit Committee (“GRAC”) is informed of the Council’s recent incidences of potential fraud and mitigation applied; of a counter fraud checklist and resulting action plan.

Options considered


Whilst this report is intended for general note, GRAC may wish to consider or further review the checklist and risk/mitigation measures.



In preparing this report, managers whose area of work presents a higher risk of fraud have been liaised with. These officers have fed into the ‘fighting fraud checklist’ and have provided information about incidences of potential fraud in the last 12 months. Additionally, there has been consultation with the Chief Financial Officer (“s.151 officer”); Internal Audit Manager, the Council’s Management Team, the Corporate Leadership Team (“CLT”) and all key officers at the Council whose role is detailed on the attached checklist.




  1. To note the update report
  2. To review and note the checklist
  3. To review and note the action plan
  4. To note the fraud assessment update which includes incidences of potential fraud


Reasons for recommendations


To deliver the corporate action plan aims with regard to cost versus risk considerations and with a view to keep our establishment at reasonable and affordable levels whilst addressing the risk of fraud.


Background papers






Links to key documents


Appendix A – Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally -Checklist.

Appendix B – Action Plan ensuing from checklist

Appendix C – Last Year’s Fraud Risk Assessment (2022/23)

Appendix D – Corporate Anti-Fraud Action Plan

Appendix E – Table considering risk areas identified in the 2022/23 Fraud Risk Assessment, and incidences of potential Fraud at NNDC

FFCL - Strategy for the 2020's.pdf (

Tackling fraud and corruption against government (

Wards affected


Cabinet Members

Cllr Shires

Contact Officer: Cara Jordan, AD Finance Assets Legal

Tel 01263 516373



Corporate Plan:

Financial Sustainability and Growth

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)               

Proposals not linked to the MTFS

Council Policies & Strategies

Counter Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Policy 2022

Counter Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Strategy


Corporate Governance:


Is this a key decision       


Has the public interest test been applied

Exempt paper - Appendix E(i)

For the following reason

Information in Appendix E(i) involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, Part 1 of schedule 12A (as amended) to the Local Government Act 1972.

These paragraphs relate to:

1.               information relating to an individual;

2.               information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and 

3.               information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure for the following reasons:

Paragraphs 1 & 2: Some incidents detailed in Appendix E(i) relate to one or few individuals whose data protection rights outweigh the public interest in disclosure.

Paragraph 3: There are details and amounts of incidences of loss or potential loss in Appendix E(i), as well as detailed information as to how the Council is addressing this. To provide this information to the public may compromise the Council in its aim in protecting its funds for the benefit of the District.

Details of any previous decision(s) on this matter

This is an update report



The MO introduced the report and informed Members that it was the result of a counter-fraud audit completed in 21-22 that had made a number of recommendations which the report sought to close down. She added that an update on counter-fraud and anti-corruption actions could be reported as part of the annual Monitoring Officer’s report, but a more detailed list of actions should be presented to the Committee. It was noted that risk had also been identified as a result of not having a dedicated counter-fraud officer, but senior officers had agreed that it was not necessary for the apparent level of risk, but could be kept under review. The MO noted that there had also been a recommendation for all officers to undertake anti-fraud training, which had been made available on Skillgate. She added that a list of key points from the Fighting Fraud and Corruption guidance had been developed into an action plan that would help to improve Council processes. It was noted that there was also a fraud risk assessment undertaken by the previous S151 officer, which had been considered alongside other factors to determine whether any further actions were necessary.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          The Chairman stated that appendix E was helpful for identifying potential risks which showed that efforts to reduce fraud and corruption were working.


      ii.          Cllr C Cushing referred to staff training and asked whether this was a one-off, or whether further training would take place in the future. The MO replied that the current training was a one-off, but this could be reviewed on an annual basis as the training module would remain on Skillgate, and any officers working in high-risk areas were required to undertake additional specialist training.


     iii.          The Chairman asked whether any new fraud risks should be raised with relevant officers, to which the MO confirmed that guidance was outlined on p122 for incidences of fraud or any related activity.


    iv.          The CE stated that CLT had discussed the report and had raised concerns regarding some of the conclusions on the basis that as a consortium-wide report, some issues did not present a particular risk to NNDC. As a result, the decision was taken that a fulltime counter-fraud officer would not be the best use of the Council’s resources, taking into account that a historical counter-fraud team had been transferred to the DWP. The CE stated that the organisation’s good track record of collection of business rates and Council Tax, in addition to good processes reassured officers that there was a low risk of fraud. He added that this would continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with counter-fraud responsibilities shared between officers across the Council.


      v.          The Chairman asked whether the actions taken satisfied Internal Audit requirements, to which the HIA replied that it was encouraging to hear that the matter had been taken seriously, and the matter could now be signed-off as complete.




1.     To note the update report.


2.     To review and note the checklist


3.     To review and note the action plan.


4.     To note the fraud assessment update which includes incidences of potential fraud.

Supporting documents: