CIPFA to support anti-fraud hub with analytics expertise

10 Aug 16

CIPFA is to provide data analytics services to the London Counter Fraud Hub to help tackle unpaid council tax, illegal property letting and unpaid business rates across the capital.

Under the agreement announced today, the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre will support collaboration between London fraud teams by providing services such as a fraud risk register for the capital and a London wide whistleblowing service.

Investigations will be supported by accountancy firms Mazars and Moore Stephens, while advanced analytics software and case management will be supplied by BAE Systems, with support from industry experts Cifas and Ordnance Survey among others.

The new assistance is intended to help authorities in London “turn up the heat” on fraudsters, CIPFA said. Last year, London councils detected fraud worth £102m, with housing fraud accounting for £74.5m of the total.

The hub, which is a partnership between all the London boroughs so they can share data better, is set to launch a pilot scheme in the autumn this year, followed by full operations in early 2017. 

CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman said the hub is one of the most advanced counter fraud programmes in the public sector.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract in a ground breaking area of fraud prevention and are looking forward to playing our part in protecting the public purse,” he said.

Edward Lord, chair of London Councils’ Capital Ambition Board, highlighted that, as councils struggled with huge reductions to their budgets, it was imperative that they used new ways to root out fraud across the capital.

“The London Counter Fraud Hub will now give the London boroughs access to the most sophisticated data analytics to identify potential fraudsters and ensure that money lost to scams ends up in its rightful place – funding vital public services,” he said.

“The hub will continue to consult regularly with the information commissioner to ensure that its operations meet the most rigorous requirements of data privacy and protection and build and maintain public trust.”

Welcoming the scheme, minister for London Gavin Barwell said: “We’re determined to help councils crack down on fraudsters who cost councils more than £2bn a year, robbing the taxpayer of vital public services. That’s why we have backed councils with £16m funding for 60 projects across the country to tackle this problem.

“Today’s counter fraud hub is one of the largest of these and will help the capital’s boroughs more effectively catch and prosecute fraudsters.”

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