Laura Sharman 16 October 2018

Councils found more than £300m in fraud in past year

Local authorities managed to prevent or detect £302m in fraud in 2017/18, according to the latest figures from finance experts.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) found that while the amount detected or prevented was £34m less than last year’s total, the number of cases increased to 80,000 from 75,000 in 2016/17.

The CIPFA Fraud and Corruption Tracker (CFaCT) also shows the number of serious or organised crime cases doubled to 56, with business rates fraud increasing to £10.4m in 2017/18 from £4.3m in 2016/17.

Rob Whiteman, chief executive of CIPFA said: ‘Fraud is a serious issue for local authorities. We must collaborate to combat it and adopt a cross country strategic approach if we are to make serious inroads in the fight against fraud.

‘Fraud deprives the government of the vital resources it needs to provide public services. When local government is running on empty – as it is now – it needs to preserve every last drop.’

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