Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Service
The Institute of Internal Auditors defines internal audit as 'An independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisations operations. It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes'.
We are in a strategic partnership agreement with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) to provide its internal audit and counter fraud service. This partnership gives us access to a range of specialisms within the PCC team. For example, data analytics and fraud investigation to supplement its in-house capacity.
Internal Audit reports are ultimately reported in summary to the Audit Committee. The committee meets regularly throughout the year. View further details regarding the Audit Committee, including historic meetings and a schedule of upcoming meetings.
Counter fraud and corruption
We have an Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy which outlines our approach to prevention, detection, investigation and enforcement. The emphasis is on awareness and prevention wherever possible and we recognise that measures to prevent fraud and corruption should be in proportion to the impact that such losses could cause and the likelihood of them occurring. We also recognise that measures should not affect the services provided to the majority of law abiding service users. We will seek to prosecute and recover any losses fraudulently obtained and, where necessary, the costs incurred in doing so. We will consider all means available to recover those amounts including possession orders, compensation claims, civil litigation, making an application for recovery from an employees pension fund and general debt recovery. If you suspect fraud please report it using the appropriate contact details outlined on this page.
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administers We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises and we are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed in the national fraud initiative.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
We participate in the Cabinet Office’s national fraud initiative. A data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed here.
The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a code of practice.
View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.
For further information on data matching by us please send us a message.
Reporting a suspected benefit fraud
If you have information about a suspected benefit fraud, you will need to contact the DWP National Benefit Fraud helpline by the following methods:
Report a suspected fraud against us
We continue to work against fraud and corruption, and continually carries out proactive work to prevent fraud occurring, but we also need residents' help to find the fraudsters. Examples of concerns you may have are:
- someone claiming a council tax discount or exemption fraudulently
- someone using an altered or forged blue badge
- someone misusing their resident's parking permit
- someone misusing their concessionary fares scheme card
- someone who has obtained fraudulent grants to improve their home
- dishonest behaviour by a member of staff or a council contractor
If you have any concerns, you can report fraud confidentially by sending us a message. Any concerns you have will be treated confidentially.
If you have a concern about housing tenancy fraud including sub letting or abuse of the right to buy scheme, you can still contact us as above and we will pass on the details to the relevant housing association for them to investigate.
Victim of fraud
If you think you have personally been a victim of fraud then this should be reported to Action Fraud.
If the fraud involves use of your credit card, then this should be reported to the card provider / bank in the first instance, who should then report it to Action Fraud .
If the fraud involves a company operating in our local area then please contact Trading Standards.