Fraud team nets £80,000 in first year

The Oban Times - - News -

A TEAM set up to tackle fraud in Ar­gyll and Bute has re­cov­ered al­most £ 80,000 in its first year.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s Cor­po­rate Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team (CFIT) formed in Oc­to­ber 2015 and is re­spon­si­ble for in­ves­ti­gat­ing rev­enue and ben­e­fit fraud, coun­cil tax, non- do­mes­tic rates and other cor­po­rate fraud. It also acts as a sin­gle point of con­tact for on­go­ing hous­ing ben­e­fit fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

At the end of its in­au­gu­ral year of op­er­a­tion in Septem­ber, the team had de­tected £175,000 of fraud and suc­cess­fully re­cov­ered al­most half of that fig­ure (£79,535) with work on­go­ing to re­cover the re­main­der.

The coun­cil has now agreed that the two in­ves­ti­ga­tors, who have been tem­po­rary un­til now, should be made per­ma­nent on the ba­sis of them be­ing self-fi­nanc­ing.

‘If our CFIT had not been in place, a sig­nif­i­cant amount of fraud would have gone un­de­tected and fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity would no doubt have car­ried on,’ Coun­cil­lor Dick Walsh, leader of the coun­cil, said. ‘Our small team is car­ry­ing out ex­tremely im­por­tant work and achiev­ing great re­sults. It has al­ready proved its worth. ’

The team was formed af­ter the trans­fer of the coun­cil’s hous­ing ben­e­fit fraud team from the coun­cil to the Depart­ment for Works and Pen­sions sin­gle fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion team.

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