Zero Tolerance of fraud and corruption
We have a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption and will take appropriate action against those who attempt to defraud the Council, whether from within the authority or from outside.
Fraud is the use of deception with the intention of obtaining personal gain, avoiding an obligation or causing loss to another. Fraud can be used to describe a wide variety of dishonest behaviour, such as forgery, false representation and the concealment of material facts. For the avoidance of doubt, fraud includes non-financial as well as financial gains.
Corruption is the offering, giving, soliciting or acceptance of an inducement or reward which may influence the improper action of any person.
Find out more by downloading our Counter-Fraud and Corruption Strategy.
Report fraud against the council
Public sector fraud costs the taxpayer billions of pounds each year.
Our counter-fraud team works to prevent, detect and investigate fraud and wrongdoing. Any information you give us will be passed to this team.
Types of fraud and wrongdoing we will investigate include:
- Council Tax
- giving false information to get reductions, discounts or exemptions
- failing to report a change in circumstance
- giving false information to obtain housing
- unlawful sub-letting
- non occupancy
- dishonest acquisition
- social care payments
- being dishonest about financial status
- misusing direct payments provided to pay for care
- employee fraud
- contractor fraud
- false invoicing
- failure to provide a service
This list is not exhaustive, and we will investigate all allegations we receive.
You are encouraged to invoke the Whistleblowing Policy if you work providing council services, see Part 3 of the Policy for details, and are concerned about an aspect of a council employee's behaviour or council practice which has resulted in or is likely to result in:
- a criminal offence, for example fraud, theft from the council, theft from clients, abuse of clients
- a failure to comply with a legal obligation, for example the statutory obligation to provide a certain level of care is deliberately ignored
- a danger to the health or safety of an individual, for example not following procedures and putting other staff / service users / the public at risk
- a miscarriage of justice
- actual or potential damage to the environment
if you are concerned about an attempt to cover up any of the above, raise your concerns through our complaints procedure.
Find out more by downloading our Whistleblowing Policy.
Data matching to prevent fraud
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer.
We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
On behalf of the Accounts Commission, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit our accounts. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
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 but the inclusion of personal data within a data matching exercise does not mean that any specific individual is under suspicion.
Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency that requires further investigation.
No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.
Audit Scotland currently requires us to participate in the National Fraud Initiative, a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Further information is available from Audit Scotland's website.
The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, normally under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.
It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Practice (PDF 318KB)