Welsh public services could lose up to £1bn a year to fraud, a new report has warned today.
The Welsh Audit Office is calling for additional resources to combat fraud in the public sector, warning counter-fraud measures need to keep pace with the changing methods of fraudsters.
The report is also calling for greater collaboration and cross-agency working to combat fraud, explaining the establishment of a national Single Fraud Investigation Service by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2014 ‘significantly diluted’ the capacity for fraud prevention and skill base within local government across Wales.
Adrian Crompton, the Auditor General for Wales, said: ‘Fraudsters do not respect geographical boundaries and the ways in which fraud is committed are constantly evolving as society and technology changes – this is becoming ever more apparent in today’s digital age.
’It’s therefore vital that collaboration and the sharing of intelligence and good practice in tackling fraud takes place between public, private and third-sector bodies across Wales, the UK and internationally.’