Posted: Thu 18th Apr 2024

Specialists Brought in to Conduct Fraud Investigations at Blaenau Gwent Council /

OUTSIDE specialists are brought in to Blaenau Gwent council when needed to conduct complex fraud investigations – it has been revealed.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Governance and Audit committee on Wednesday, April 17 members were presented with new draft of the council’s Anti-Fraud, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery policy.
Changes are needed to the current policy to reflect updated legislation and the current reporting structure in the council.
Audit and risks manager, Louise Rosser explained that there were not a “lot of changes” to the policy.
Lay member Martin Veale said: “Do you have counter fraud training and counter fraud qualifications amongst the team.
“You talk about experience, but there are formal counter fraud qualifications you can get.
Ms Rosser said: “We haven’t got the formal qualifications.
“We have had training on various courses over the years, but we are producing a targeted training plan as we are aware we that is something we need to do more of.”
Ms Rosser explained that she knew of the counter courses provided by CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) which is UK-based international accountancy membership and standard-setting body, but: “we’re not signed up for any of those.”
Mr Veale asked what happened if a: “complex serious fraud case came your way.”
He pointed out that these days the police would want a complete investigation file on “these types of frauds” before starting their own probe.
Mr Veale said: “Is there an option available to contract in counter fraud specialists if necessary?”
Ms Rosser said: “We have done that in the past and we have that ability if we need to.”
Due to this Ms Veale suggested that the relevant part of the policy needed to be “tweaked to reflect this arrangement.”
Mr Veale said: “As it suggests we either go to the police or use Audit Wales.”
The committee agreed the new draft policy subject to minor changes made to the wording.
The draft policy is set to go before a meeting of the cabinet in June to be agreed. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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