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Protecting the public purse

Posted onPosted on 21st May

Anti-fraud initiatives by Nottinghamshire County Council are helping to protect valuable public funds for use on frontline services.

Protecting the Public Purse is the Audit Commission’s annual review of the council’s performance in detecting and preventing fraud.

The latest report, covering 2012/13, showed that three cases of fraud had been detected at Nottinghamshire County Council during the year, with a valuation of £10,900 – which represents just 0.002% of the Council’s £500M annual net budget.

The council follows National Fraud Initiative guidelines when investigating potential fraud, including sharing information with other public bodies about an individual or organisation when appropriate.

Coun Keith Walker, chairman of the Audit Committee, said: “The County Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to fraud. All suspected fraudulent activity is investigated and action is taken to recover any public money lost – either directly or through the courts.

“There will always be a tiny minority of people who try to cheat the system, so it is essential we have rigorous systems in place to detect it and clamp down on it early.

“This is not a victimless crime. When people do cheat money from the public purse we are all potential victims, because it compromises the Council’s ability to provide vital services to the public.

“With the financial constraints on local authorities getting tougher all the time, the need to tackle fraud and make our resources go further is more important than ever.”

The council would like to hear from anyone who suspects fraudulent activity is taking place affecting council services. This could include false claims for compensation, bogus businesses and misleading applications for social care support or school places.

If you suspect any individual or business of fraud, the internal audit team on 0115 977 2226.