Serious and organised crime - understanding the risks

18-04-2017

In May organisations will be asked to participate in the annual CIPFA Fraud and Corruption Tracker (CFaCT) survey. The survey gives a national picture of fraud, bribery and corruption across the UK public sector and the actions being taken to prevent it.

Within the survey are a series of questions that ask about the value and number of cases that relate to serious and organised crime, statistics that are not commonly captured in other counter fraud surveys.

Understanding the trends and statistics that surround this type of crime is increasingly important and the release in December 2016 of the Home Office publication Organised Crime Procurement Pilots - Final Report highlights why all public sector organisations need to be vigilant:

"Local government spent around £60bn in 2014–15 on procuring goods and services (not including central services). Procurement is considered to be lucrative and attractive to serious and organised criminals because there are multiple ways to commit fraud."

The report is a comprehensive consideration of the risk from serious and organised crime. It builds on the work of the 2013 Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and particularly examines the threat faced by public procurement from serious and organised crime.

The far-reaching 2016 report includes key areas such as: 

  • The threat: "There has been evidence of organised crime group links to LA procurement reported by a number of police forces".
  • Learning from the pilots: "The importance of having controls in place to protect public resources".
  • Actions and tools: "A set of interventions to reduce vulnerability".

Whilst the report is not publicly available, it has been circulated to local authorities and police forces and is an important document that all counter fraud professionals within the public sector would be advised to read.

Your fraud data counts

The 2017 CFaCT survey will be open to organisations across the UK public sector. It will examine:

  • the levels of fraud and corruption detected
  • the number of investigations undertaken
  • the types of fraud encountered
  • emerging trends.

The survey includes questions commissioned by the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) Board and the Home Office.

It is supported and endorsed by the FFCL Board, the Local Government Association (LGA), the National Audit Office (NAO), the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Scottish Government and SOLACE Group.

If you work for a public sector organisation, we would welcome your contribution. Follow the Counter Fraud Centre on LinkedIn where we will be sharing instructions on how to complete the survey. 

Further support

The 2016-2019 Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally strategy highlights the threat from serious and organised crime and can be downloaded from the CIPFA website.

The CIPFA Code of Practice on Managing the Risk of Fraud and Corruption provides guidance on identifying the fraud and corruption risks and making arrangements for appropriate resources.

Our Fraud Risk Wheel is an interactive, web-based tool that presents detailed guidance on different fraud risks, including procurement fraud. The guidance includes how the different risks arise, the steps or controls that can be put in place to mitigate them and case studies to illustrate how similar organisations have dealt with the issues.

Finally, our Certificate in Fraud Risk Management delivers the in-depth skills and knowledge needed to create an effective risk management framework.

Alternatively, please contact a member of the CIPFA team to discuss your circumstances on 020 7543 5600.