criminal justice
health & social care
housing & housing services
local government
2

3rd Annual Tackling Public Sector Fraud Forum

criminal justice

health & social care

housing & housing services

local government

08:45 - 16:00

Thursday 27 June 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide attendees with an invaluable opportunity to discuss the impact of fraud across the public sector. Leading policy experts from the Cabinet Office and City of London Police will outline the latest strategies and standards to effectively tackle fraud within the public sector. In addition, best practice case studies will explore how to improve detection and develop robust counter-measures through establishing multi-agency partnerships, building an expert workforce capacity and effectively using data and analytics to tackle fraud and minimise financial losses.

Audience

This Forum is specifically designed for Local Government and wider Public Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Council Leaders
  • Chief Executives
  • Finance Directors
  • Heads of Audit
  • Counter-Fraud and Corruption Managers
  • Revenues and Benefits Managers
  • Case Managers
  • Councillors
  • Cabinet Members for Finance and Governance
  • Finance Officers
  • Investigating Officers
  • Procurement Business Managers

This Forum is also open to the Police, Health, Private and Voluntary Sectors to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Sally Gubbins, ‎National Fraud Initiative Coordinator, Cabinet Office
  • Pauline Smith, National Head Of Action Fraud, City of London Police 
  • Andy Hyatt, Member, Board for Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally, Local Government Association (LGA)
  • Kevin Davis, Chief Investigator, Serious Fraud Office
View the agenda and additional speakers

 

According to the most recent Annual Fraud Indicator figures, the UK public sector loses over £40bn each year to fraud. Even more worryingly, it is thought that unknown losses to fraud may be significantly higher. Breaking down the costs, the 2018 CIPFA Annual Fraud Tracker identified housing fraud as the most common and highest-value type of fraud, while business rates fraud and Blue Badge fraud are the two fastest-growing areas of illicit activity. Indeed, the Local Government Association has highlighted a sixfold increase in the latter over the past five years.

In seeking to address a challenge that continues to grow in scale and complexity, the Government announced The Local Government Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy, 2016-19, developed in partnership with the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre. The strategy aims to provide local authorities with a framework for a tougher response to fraud and corruption through collaboration, sharing of information and resources, and enhanced preventative mechanisms to effectively prosecute fraudsters and improve the recovery of losses.

Moreover, in February 2017 the Cabinet Office updated its counter-fraud standards, with the aim of cultivating greater professionalism and expertise in the public sector counter-fraud workforce. This was further built upon in October 2018 when the Government reasserted its commitment to tackle fraud and error across the public sector by launching a dedicated counter fraud profession. This will bring in new standards, guidance and tools to help build counter fraud capability across 10,000 public sector counter fraud specialists, thereby enhancing public sector resilience.

Local authorities must now work in partnership with each other and across the wider public sector to develop and refine counter-fraud strategies, and improve prevention, detection and investigative measures. CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman has emphasised the cross-organisational nature of the problem, highlighting that “by sharing data and jointly investing in new technologies, councils can improve resilience and cost-effectiveness”. Therefore, data analytics and new technology must be harnessed to maximise prevention and detection of fraud, and comprehensive anti-fraud and corruption strategies must be implemented across the public sector to prevent taxpayers’ money being siphoned away from critical government services.

08:45

Registration, Refreshments and Networking


09:30

Chair's Welcome Address

Simon Fell, Assistant Director – Strategy & Policy, Cifas (CONFIRMED)


09:45

Morning Keynote: Developing Professionalism Across the Public Sector to Detect, Prevent and Prosecute Fraud

  • Providing updates on the implementation, successes and challenges of The Local Government Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy 2016 – 2019 (FFCL)and exploring next steps as 2020 approaches
  • Outlining the Cabinet Office’s role in coordinating strategic action across Government departments to encourage a joint approach in preventing, detecting and prosecuting fraud
  • Building anti-fraud capability through establishing the Government Counter Fraud Profession in October 2018 to embed counter-fraud expertise and skills into the Civil Service workforce
  • Analysing how a common, transparent set of Professional Standards and Competencies will enhance the public sector’s ability to deal with fraud and protect the public purse
  • Examining the tools that the National Fraud Initiative provides local authorities and the private sector to help tackle fraud, such as AppCheck and FraudHub, with a successful loss-prevention rate of 91%
  • Investing in a Data Analytics Development Team to provide best practice guidance for Central Government in planning, designing and running data sharing pilots to prevent fraud

Sally Gubbins, ‎National Fraud Initiative Coordinator, Cabinet Office (CONFIRMED)


10:15

Special Keynote: Working in Partnership Across Government to Tackle Cyber Fraud

  • Outlining the work of “Action Fraud”, the national policing lead for economic crime and cyber-fraud
  • Detailing how Action Fraud collaborates with the the National Police Chiefs’ Council to enhance the effectiveness of operational responses to the most serious and strategic cyber threats
  • Working in partnership with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to ensure intelligence around fraud is acted upon in a timely and effective manner, resulting in successful prosecutions and increased fraud resilience
  • Understanding the most prevalent types of cyber-fraud across the public sector, and sharing best practice guidance around effective prevention and detection through holistic partnership working

Pauline Smith, National Head of Action Fraud, City of London Police (CONFIRMED)


10:35

Special Keynote: Effectively Tackling Welfare and Benefits Fraud Using Technology and Data Analytics

  • Highlighting the importance of statistics in evaluating, developing and supporting fraud and error policy, strategy and operational decisions across the Department
  • Establishing the International Fraud Team in Spain to tackle UK Benefit Fraud abroad, successfully recovering over £13 million of UK taxpayers’ money lost over the past decade
  • Utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to effectively crack down on criminals committing large-scale benefits fraud
  • Exploring the potential of AI to detect fraud by pinpointing anomalies in billions of items of data and revealing fake identity cloning techniques commonly used by fraudsters
  • Prioritising benefits claims by combining data acquisition and intelligence gathering capabilities to conduct robust risk analysis

Richard Cornish, Director, Counter Fraud and Compliance, Department for Work and Pensions (invited)


10:55

Questions and Answers Session


11:15

Refreshments and Networking


11:35

Case Study: Effectively Implementing Data Analytics to Improve Proactive Fraud Detection

  • Successfully uncovering a £178k fraud after proactive data analytics work identified two fictitious creditors being paid by a partner organisation
  • Integrating proactive data analysis, combined with robust and meticulous traditional audit techniques, into the council’s counter-fraud strategy to prevent potential future losses
  • Ensuring internal audit processes are comprehensive and designing clear investigative procedures and pathways for suspicious activities to enhance detection capabilities
  • Sharing guidance around verifying invoices for authenticity to reduce fraudulent payments to illegitimate suppliers and prevent fraud before it occurs
  • Detailing the process of aligning the council’s counter-fraud strategies to the The Local Government Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy 2016 – 2019 and evaluating impact with respect to fraud reduction

Winner – Government Counter Fraud Awards 2017 for ‘Outstanding Proactive Detection’ 

Senior Representative, Counter Fraud and Corruption Team – Internal Audit, Leeds City Council (invited)


11:55

Case Study: Delivering a Successful Fraud Awareness Campaign to Reduce Citizens' Vulnerability to Fraud

  • Outlining the process of establishing an integrated marketing campaign to raise awareness of how property fraud occurs, who is most at risk and providing clear ‘calls to action’
  • Working in partnership with trusted third parties, including solicitors, conveyancers and other property professionals, to target groups most at risk of being victims of fraud through the free ‘Property Alert’ service
  • Sharing guidance on how to select the most effective and audience-appropriate communication channels to maximise reach and impact, resulting in 52,000 new Property Alert accounts being created
  • Advising on how other public sector organisations can apply the successful campaign model to their own fraud prevention projects

Winner – Government Counter Fraud Awards 2017 for “Excellence in Raising Fraud Awareness” 

Julie Jenkins, Head of Counter-Fraud, HM Land Registry (invited)


12:15

Case Study: Effectively Combating Fraud Through a Multi-Agency Local Counter-Fraud Strategy

  • Outlining the council’s 3-year Anti-Fraud & Corruption Strategy, based on acknowledging, preventing and pursuing fraud, both internally and externally
  • Effectively utilising data-matching techniques and external expertise to review council tax claims, resulting in savings of £626,000 over three years
  • Detailing how the council’s Fraud Risk Register, Proactive Work Programme and Reactive Referrals fit into the counter-fraud strategy, and evaluating the effectiveness of current efforts to minimise fraudulent activity
  • Highlighting the benefits of internal sharing of skills and expertise, and conducting a “compare and contrast” review to identify best practice and enhance counter-fraud capabilities
  • Working in partnership with other local authorities, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Police and the Audit Commission to improve the detection of fraud and corruption

Steven Barry, Fraud Investigations Manager, Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council (CONFIRMED)


12:35

Questions and Answers Session


13:00

Lunch and Networking


14:00

Afternoon Keynote: Supporting Local Authorities to Enhance Fraud Detection and Resilience

  • Outlining how local authorities can effectively collaborate and share innovative practises through the FFCL Good Practice Bank to raise local standards of fraud prevention
  • Working across local government and in partnership with Cifas to implement the guidance and recommendations in the co-produced FFCL strategy
  • Sharing advice and guidance on how local authorities can ensure they have sufficient resources in place to prevent and tackle fraud, such as investing in counter-fraud training for the workforce
  • Understanding the importance of cultivating internal counter-fraud expertise across the workforce to increase fraud detection rates
  • Exploring the rise in councils sharing counter fraud provisions, pooling resources and widening their investigative focus; analysing how this enhances fraud resilience as well as increasing cost efficiency

Andy Hyatt, Member, Board for Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally, Local Government Association (LGA) (CONFIRMED)


14:20

Special Keynote: Successfully Investigating, Prosecuting and Tackling High-Level Fraud

  • Outlining how the Serious Fraud Office investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption cases fairly and effectively
  • Sharing guidance around how to deal with witnesses, victims and whistle-blowers, ensuring they are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect
  • Advising on the various channels through which fraud can be reported, and detailing which are most appropriate according to the context or type of fraudulent activity
  • Utilising artificial technology and other digital analytics tools to effectively tackle the growing complexity and sophistication of fraud

Kevin Davis, Chief Investigator, Serious Fraud Office (CONFIRMED)


14:40

Questions and Answers Session


15:00

Refreshments and Networking


15:20

Workshop: How Local Authorities Can Design and Implement an Effective Fraud Management Framework

Gain expert insights from Cifas on how local authorities can develop an effective, integrated and comprehensive fraud management framework. Topics discussed will include:

  • Learning to identify the fraud and corruption risks and red flags in your local authority
  • Developing an appropriate counter fraud and corruption strategy with a clear response pathway if and when fraud is discovered
  • Providing appropriate and effective resources to support strategic implementation, including relevant training in counter-fraud skills for the workforce

Rachael Tiffen, Member, FFCL Board, and Director of Local Government Fraud, Cifas (CONFIRMED) 


16:00

Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change 


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