CIPFA launches new counter fraud code


CIPFA’s Chief Executive Rob Whiteman has launched a new code of practice on counter fraud at CIPFA’s Governance Summit in London. The code is part of CIPFA’s work to support and lead good practice in counter fraud and public sector governance.

The code provides a set of key principles for an effective counter fraud response.  The principles cover the importance of leadership, governance and operational arrangements. It builds on CIPFA’s previous guidance on counter fraud and follows the recent establishment of the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre.

Launching the code, Rob Whiteman emphasised the importance of leadership within an organisation on counter fraud saying:

“Fraud risks are a very real and ongoing threat to public services. Those governing and leading public sector bodies need to recognise the risks they face and make sure their organisation has all the tools it needs to respond effectively.

“Resilience to fraud is essential when public funds are under so much pressure and budgets are so constrained. The new code sets out the standards all organisations should be aiming for and CIPFA stands ready to provide any further support and guidance that public sector bodies need.”

The code was issued for consultation earlier this year and received a significant amount of positive input from across the public sector. The code comes at a time when many local authorities are reviewing the delivery of their counter fraud services following the introduction of the single fraud investigation service by the DWP. Many public sector organisations are considering collaborative approaches to tackle fraud so a common set of standards is particularly well timed.

Ian O’Donnell, Executive Director of Resources at London Borough of Ealing and member of CIPFA’s Counter Fraud Centre Advisory Board, has welcomed the code:

“I am pleased to see this Code on Counter Fraud both as a member of the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre Advisory Board and also in my role as an Executive Director responsible for protecting public funds in a local authority.

“Fraud affects everyone across the public services and that the Code has been written for the wider counter fraud community is heartening. Having read the Code I think it will be a useful tool for leaders to assess their resilience and capacity to tackle fraud.”

The new code has five core principles:

  • acknowledge the responsibility of the governing body for countering fraud and corruption
  • identify the fraud and corruption risks
  • develop an appropriate counter fraud and corruption strategy
  • provide resources to implement the strategy
  • take action in response to fraud and corruption.

The code is available to download from the CIPFA website.