Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Take a leap


Celebrating success plays an important role in recognising and rewarding teams and individuals who work on challenging cases. Following a promotional email, Dermot Clarke’s manager – Richard McConaughey, Deputy Director HM Revenue and Customs, Organised Crime Fraud Investigation Service – felt a recent case matched the Government Counter Fraud Awards criteria for Outstanding Collaboration. He decided to take a leap and proactively encouraged the teams involved to enter the awards. 

The Outstanding Collaboration Award recognises outstanding team work across departments and organisations. Richard McConaughey’s hunch was right. The award was won by Operation Renegade and Operation Eagle – two teams who joined forces on a complex fuel fraud case involving multiple agencies and jurisdictions.

Celebrate the unexpected

Dermot Clarke (Senior Investigation Officer) HM Revenue and Customs, Organised Crime NI Fraud Investigation Service, explained: “Winning the award was a real surprise, and winning also enabled us to celebrate success across departments and organisations. Our investigations are often intricate and require a high degree of collaboration, so we were delighted to win the award and receive external recognition for our joint efforts.

“In fact, we were so surprised that we had not told our partner organisations that we’d entered the Government Counter Fraud Awards as we were not expecting to be shortlisted or to win. To us the case matched the award criteria and while we have run similar cases in the past we had never formally entered a case for an award.”

“Despite being unexpected”, added Dermot, “everyone was very pleased. HM Revenue and Customs promoted our success across multiple internal channels and the award success was seen at leadership events and acknowledged across the UK.”

Collaborate to win

Operation Renegade and Operation Eagle’s nomination stood out to judges as an exceptional example of what can be achieved when cross-border agencies join forces. The teams were working under very challenging circumstances, but achieved impressive results through a concerted effort to collaborate, pooling their resources, sharing intelligence, and involving other agencies when needed.

It clearly demonstrated that cross-border collaboration managed effectively can combat fraudsters who do not respect jurisdictional boundaries.

Dermot commented: “Through the case we have built a strong relationship with partner agencies and the award win has helped to cement this. Consequently, this has become a well-quoted success of cross-border initiative in action. Logistically it was a challenging case which required a great deal of co-ordination along with a healthy dose of ‘can do’ attitude.

“In our area of work, we frequently under sell ourselves. It’s easy to sweep a case under the carpet as ‘business as usual’ and not enter it for an award. I would wholeheartedly encourage leaders, teams and individuals to enter the 2017 Government Counter Fraud Awards. Don’t let uncertainty stop you from achieving.”

Nominate now

Do you work in an organisation which readily co-operates and collaborates with different partner organisations to prevent, deter, detect, investigate, or prosecute frauds? The Outstanding Collaboration Award is now open for nominations and private sector organisations and charities can also be nominated in conjunction with a public-sector organisation.

Nominees will be judged on:

  • how the collective working approach was developed
  • how team members worked to overcome any barriers or difficulties
  • evidence of a co-operative working approach, and the delivery and achievement of joint goals and objectives
  • evidence of savings achieved by working together
  • potential for other organisations to adopt a similar approach and achieve savings, and
  • how success was measured and the benefits realised.

New award categories for 2017

Unveiled this year are three new awards:

  • Outstanding Proactive Detection
  • Government Counter Fraud Team of the Year
  • Government Counter Fraud Professional of the Year.

For details on all the award categories and to enter the 2017 Government Counter Fraud Awards visit:

The deadline for entries is 10 August 2017.