Fraud and Corruption
The link to the ‘Prevention of Financial Crime Policy’ below sets out Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ position in relation to fraud and corruption. It has the full support of the Councils’ Joint Audit and Standards Committee and senior management.
The Councils’ takes its responsibilities to protect the public purse very seriously and is committed to the highest standards of openness and accountability in order to ensure the proper use and protection of public funds and assets.
The Councils’ will not tolerate fraud or corruption by its Members, employees, suppliers, contractors or service users and will take all necessary steps to investigate all allegations of fraud or corruption and pursue sanctions available in each case, including removal from office, dismissal and prosecution.
The covering title of the policy ‘Financial Crime’ has been adopted in line with the UK Financial Conduct Authority guidelines and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Key elements of Financial Crime particularly appropriate to Local Authorities have then been given greater focus with specific policies within the main document.
This policy provides one point of reference on all aspects of financial crime that may be encountered in our normal working life, and clarifies the processes required to identify, report and process events.
National Fraud Initiative
Babergh and Mid Suffolk are required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
The Cabinet Office appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of these authorities. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, which can be found on the Cabinet Office's website (opens new window).
The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found on their website.
For further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see Fair Processing on Cabinet Office's website.
You can also make a report over the phone by calling Customer Services.
To do this, you will need to choose "Option 7" when prompted.