Corporate Fraud’s role is about developing an Anti-Fraud Culture within the Council.
In line with the Scottish Government’s approach Protecting Public Resources in Scotland: The strategic approach to fighting fraud and error.
This Scottish Government strategy document sets out a “zero tolerance” culture and emphasises the importance of a “tone from the top” this is also behind the Council's approach to an Anti-Fraud Culture.
In addition to the above, there are three core objectives that support an Anti-Fraud Culture:
- Prevent instances of fraud and misconduct from occurring in the first place
- Detect instances when they do occur
- Investigate (Respond to) appropriately and take corrective action when instances arise
Prevent being the most important objective e.g. having effective controls in place to both protect Council assets and employees.
The more we get it right with prevent, then fewer resources are required for detect and investigate.
Fife Council aims to provide excellent public service and ensure propriety and accountability in all matters. The Council is determined to protect itself and the public from fraud and corruption and is committed to the rigorous maintenance of a strategy for the prevention and detection of fraud and corruption which will provide a framework for:
encouraging fraud deterrence and prevention;
raising awareness of fraud and corruption and promoting their detection;
performing investigations and facilitating recovery;
invoking disciplinary proceedings and referral to Police and/or Procurator Fiscal;
monitoring, publicising and updating the policy and its related procedures and performance; and
appropriate action consistent with the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce objective.
A Guide to Your Role
This Guide explains the role of Council employees in responding to suspected financial misconduct, fraud, theft and corruption (we’ll refer to ‘fraud’ for brevity) and the protection they have under the Council’s Whistle Blowing Policy when reporting fraud.
In general, the Council regards ‘fraud’ as when ‘someone is induced by a false pretence to do (or not do) something that they would not (or would) otherwise have done’, and also as when ‘actual or attempted intentional distortions of financial or other records are carried out, whether to conceal the misappropriation of assets or otherwise for gain’.
This guide forms part of the Council’s fraud strategy. It provides basic information about the Council’s approach to fraud, how Council employees should respond to it and where to get specialist help.
Third parties, members of the public, Councillors or employees may commit fraud against the Council. Whilst the overwhelming majority of Council employees is honest and behaves with integrity, it is a fact of life that attempts will be made (sometimes with success) to perpetrate a fraud.
Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) employees can report matters of concern to management or prescribed external agencies. A qualifying disclosure under the Act protects the discloser from being punished or victimised for complaining, as long as they are acting in good faith. Fife Council’s whistle-blowing policy defines the relevant qualifying disclosures and is contained within the CC01 Code of Conduct for Council Employees and CC50 Whistle Blowing A Guide for Employees. FISH contains additional guidelines for employees on whistle blowing.
If raising a concern in writing remember to include details such as the date your letter or report is submitted, your name and contact details and a description of the issue including evidence and dates if possible. Also give details of any action already taken including if you have tried unsuccessfully to raise the issue with other managers or colleagues. Finally, remember to write ‘confidential’ on the envelope.
CC01 Code of Conduct for Council Employees makes reference Whistle Blowing at paragraph 12.4 “Right to raise concerns without fear of being victimised (Whistle-blowing)".
CC50 Whistle Blowing A Guide for Employees is guidance on how employees raise their concerns and the type of concerns covered.
Corporate Fraud Team:
Contact the Corporate Fraud Team: firstname.lastname@example.org