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Nathan Elvery. Director of Finance & Resources. London Borough of Croydon. National Fraud Initiative. Agenda. A little bit of background Anti-Fraud – our corporate priority Our experience of NFI. A little of background. Started my career in Audit and Anti-Fraud

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Nathan Elvery

Director of Finance & Resources

London Borough of Croydon



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Agenda

A little bit of background

Anti-Fraud – our corporate priority

Our experience of NFI


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A little of background

  • Started my career in Audit and Anti-Fraud

  • Have ran Anti-fraud services in

    • District councils

    • Greater London Authority (Region Government)

    • Westminster City Council (Inner London Borough)

    • Croydon Council (Outer London Borough)

  • Local Government for over 20 years


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London Borough of Croydon

‘City’ on the edge of a great City




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Relevant facts

  • 32,000 Housing Benefit Claimants

  • 36% of population ethnic minority – over 100 languages spoken

  • Pockets of deprivation, some of the highest in England alongside some of London’s most expensive housing.






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An opening thought

“There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise

good people more easily and frequently fall than that of

defrauding the government”

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat


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Value for MoneyAnti-Fraud & Corruption Policy

“We are responsible for paying or spending millions of pounds of public money in delivering services and assistance and paying benefits. We are committed to ensuring that those funds are legitimately used and only those entitled to services and benefits receive them.”

NFI is the major tool in our armoury


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NFI Our experience

“I've always made a total effort even when the odds

seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never

felt that I didn't have a chance to win”

Arnold Palmer 1929-, American Golfer Quote


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Payroll

Creditors

Housing Benefits

Insurance Claims

Parking Permits

Disabled Badges

Market Traders

Concessionary Travel

Council Tax

Electoral Register

Pensions

Housing Rents

Student Loans

Private Care Homes

National Fraud Initiative - Coverage



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Delivery the Practical Issues

  • 46,500 matches to investigate

  • Priority

  • Planning

  • Resources (20 staff)

  • Management

  • Results


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Success: Partnerships

  • Partnership with Deloitte & Touche Public Sector Internal Audit Ltd

  • Department of Work and Pensions

  • Audit Commission

  • Mutual support

  • Joint working

  • Sharing of ideas and approaches

  • Dynamic Culture


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NFI Outcomes

2 years of hard work through an investment of £50,000.

The amount identified for recovery at Croydon

Council alone:

£1,020,000


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Council Tax Discounts Vs Electoral Register (Croydon)

Payroll (All) Vs Housing Benefits (All)

Pensions (All) Vs Housing Benefits (All)

Housing Benefits (Croydon) Vs Housing Benefits (Other)

£652,000

£280,000

£47,000

£35,000

NFI Results – Areas of Greatest Return


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CASESTUDY: Blue badges vs list of deaths

  • Blue Badges (disabled parking permits)

    are allocated for a 3 year period

  • Most matches revealed that the holder had died during the 3 year period

  • One badge had been renewed 3 times since date of death

  • Each application came with a photo!

  • The applicant was the widow of the original holder

  • Interviewed formally, but prosecution was not in the public interest – 80 year old widow given formal caution


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CASESTUDY: Benefits vs Benefits

  • 1 name, 2 benefit claims

  • The match showed a claim made in 2 different boroughs, but 1 identity

  • Investigation showed Croydon’s claimant was using a false French ID card

  • Arrested by immigration

  • Referred for prosecution (if we get there before deportation!)

  • £8,000 in overpaid benefits


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CASESTUDY: Payroll vs Payroll

  • Croydon Employee identified as working at another London Borough

  • Off sick at Croydon – getting sick pay

  • Employee resigned from Croydon before disciplinary proceedings

  • Interviewed formally

  • No further action except recovery of £1,000 overpaid salary


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CASESTUDY: Payroll vs Payroll

  • Croydon Night Care Assistant

  • Also Social Worker for Another London Borough

  • Working 36 hours a week …

  • For both employers

  • No sickness issues, however European Working time directive and concern about provision of care


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Political Impact

The Cabinet are committed to improving value for

money and see a robust and challenging anti-fraud

strategy as critical foundation of this

commitment.  Using all of the tools available to us

to deliver that agenda, including data-matching,

ensures that our scare resources support the most

vulnerable in our communities and deliver all our

aspirations”

Gavin Barwell

Cabinet Member for Resources and Customer Services



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Opportunities for Northern Ireland?

  • Structure in NI not the same as England

  • Many Local Government services in England are provided by Government departments in NI

  • Range of Local Government services in NI evolving and broadening further

  • Most NFI matches are covered by someone in this room.



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One last thought

"I spent a lot of money

on booze, birds and

fast cars. The rest I

just squandered."


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