Fighting Fraud Locally: Strategies for Protecting Council Finances

Marc McAuley, Head of Counter Fraud Operations, CIPFA
February 19, 2021

Public and personal budgets are feeling the fiscal pinch. Regardless of whether that pinch has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s departure from the EU or the reallocation of funding to essential areas of public service delivery, it is critical for councils to effectively protect their finances and maximise the value of every pound spent. It is hard to think of a time when the fiscal landscape has been so volatile.

With the current economic climate presenting further challenges and instances of fraud and corruption for local authorities, tacking the threat of financial crime locally should continue to be a key strategy for local government and councils.

The recent Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy 2020 was created by local government for local government, and provides ways for local authorities to further develop and enhance their counter fraud and corruption response. The strategy is designed to ensure that local government counter-fraud efforts are comprehensive and effective by focusing on the key changes that will make the most difference.

Counter fraud practitioners have proven time and again that sharing knowledge and best practice is paramount in the collective fight to tackle fraud and corruption and helps us all improve our own efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. We also have a collective responsibility to mentor and encourage the next generation of local government counter fraud practitioners across the united kingdom, armed with the knowledge and experience of those that have gone before us.