Aberdeen City Council launches new fraud reporting tool

Aberdeen City Council has launched a new portal to enable incidents of fraud to be reported to the authority.

The council has a zero tolerance policy towards fraud and is committed to taking robust action, including criminal proceedings, against anyone caught abusing council services.

The latest Annual Fraud Indicator report showed fraud costs the United Kingdom around £193billion per year, of which public sector fraud accounts for around £37.5b – equating to around 5.5% of the yearly spend by local and central government.

Public sector fraud includes abuse of the welfare system, NHS fraud, vehicle excise duty fraud and fraudulent claims for local authority services.

In 2015, Aberdeen City Council set up a dedicated Corporate Investigation Team, responsible for investigating allegations of abuse against council services.

As part of that programme of work, a new online reporting portal has been created which will reduce the amount of administrative time required before a case can progress. The council is currently engaged in a master data management programme which will enable this new case management system to verify information and support the investigation team’s work.

Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council’s Co-Leader and convener of the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee, said: “Aberdeen is a vibrant place to live and as a Council we invest in infrastructure and services to ensure that we provide residents, businesses and future generations with a city that they can be proud of.

“It is vital that every penny the council has is spent on meeting our aims – so identifying and preventing fraud is vitally important. Not a day goes by where there are reports of new scams and frauds, which often involve targeting our elderly citizens, which is simply wrong. We need to put a stop to people who think they can use vital services to line their own pocket.”

Aberdeen City Council participates in the National Fraud Initiative and has had representatives give evidence to the Scottish Government’s Audit Panel to help drive forward future anti-fraud legislation.

Reports of blue badge misuse, housing tenancy fraud, council tax fraud, pension fraud and employee fraud can be made online at: https://www.report-fraud.co.uk/aberdeencity . For further information visit: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk and search “fraud” .