Enfield leads the way on fraud risk management

15-08-2018

The London Borough of Enfield has developed a Fraud Risk Management Toolkit that local authorities can use to support their own fraud risk management strategies.

The Toolkit covers fraud risk assessment methodology, fraud risk registers and data analytics to detect fraud. It was developed after the Council successfully bid for a share of the £16m counter fraud fund offered by the former Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in 2014 to "support local authorities to boost their capability and capacity in tackling non-benefit fraud".

Enfield entered a bid for a grant to deliver a fraud prevention project. At the time, the Council was about to undergo a significant transformation programme, which included re-designing the way they delivered services and interacted with customers. Their bid entailed performing a detailed fraud risk assessment to identify potential fraud vulnerabilities within all services, with a particular focus on those scheduled for reprocessing.

Once completed, the fraud risk assessment was then used to inform other pieces of work within the project, including the development of the Toolkit, with the objective of further embedding a counter fraud culture across the Council.

The inter-linked fraud prevention project workstreams set out in the bid were:

  1. Fraud risk assessment: Performing detailed fraud risk assessments to identify potential fraud vulnerabilities within all services through a series of interactive staff workshops. The workshops were run with support and input from PricewaterhouseCoopers and involved representatives from other London boroughs, namely Camden, Islington, Barnet, Lambeth and Harrow.
  2. Transformation: Interaction and integration with the Council’s transformation programme to identify opportunities to design new fraud resilient controls and processes, including reporting of potential frauds prevented.
  3. Detection: Building data analysis into new processes to highlight potential fraud indicators and other anomalies within higher risk processes as identified by the fraud risk assessment.
  4. Culture: Fraud awareness training for staff targeted at areas of higher risk as identified by the fraud risk assessment.

The Council’s bid also included the development of the Toolkit to allow other local authorities to use a similar approach to a risk-based fraud prevention and detection programme.

Commenting on the Toolkit, Christine Webster, Head of Internal Audit & Risk Management at Enfield Council said: "Removing the opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of the Council’s systems and processes is an essential step in preventing financial loss through fraud. This toolkit can help colleagues to understand where the fraud risk exposure lies so that the gaps can be plugged. We’re really pleased to have it included in the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Good Practice Bank where it can be readily accessed."

How to access the Toolkit

The Toolkit is now available to download from the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Good Practice Bank, which is available exclusively for those working in local authorities.