Issue - meetings
Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy and Fraud Response Plan
- Enc. 1 for Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy and Fraud Response Plan, item 31 PDF 309 KB
- Enc. 2 for Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy and Fraud Response Plan, item 31 PDF 190 KB
That the updated Corporate Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and Fraud and Irregularity Response Plan attached as Appendices 1 and 2 be approved subject to the above agreed amendments.
The Internal Audit Manager introduced a report on amending the Constitution to reflect the updated Council Corporate Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and Fraud and Irregularity Response Plan. He provided background information and referred to the Strategy and Response Plan which were appended to the report.
The Internal Audit Manager explained that the Strategy stated the Council’s Policy of zero tolerance for fraud and corruption, and defined and outlined the culture within the Council to combat them. It also outlined the deterrence, prevention, detection and investigation measures in place and listed the role and responsibilities of individuals and groups both within and outside the Council. The Fraud and Irregularity Response Plan defined the responsibilities for action and provided guidance to managers and employees in the event of a suspected fraud or other irregularity. It outlined the actions that should be taken by employees, managers, and Members if they suspected a fraud, and also what would happen after they pass on the suspicion and the action that may be taken. It also referred to the updated Whistleblowing Policy.
The Chairman invited Members to raise questions.
Referring to the flowchart which was attached to the Response Plan, Councillor Clive Carver expressed concern that when a fraud was reported there was no provision to provide feedback to the referrer unless the case did not proceed to investigation. Councillor Carver also expressed concerns in relation to data retention and commented on the need to retain data as an audit trail. The Internal Audit Manager agreed to amend the flowchart and to provide information on the Authority’s data retention policy.
Councillor Bernie Attridge referred to the Corporate Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and suggested that reference to the Chief Executive on page 15, was not required and should be removed. Following discussion this was agreed.
Councillor Chris Bithell referred to the list of roles and responsibilities contained in the Strategy and raised concerns around the importance of ensuring that Members declared an interest if necessary. The Democracy and Governance Manager advised that it was up to the individual Member to decide whether he/she had an interest and what type of interest it was. If a Member failed to declare an interest as he/she should have done they could face sanctions for a breach of the Members Code of Conduct.
Councillor Bithell raised further concerns relating to the cost, time, and workload involved in investigations of fraud and corruption and asked if the Authority could streamline its process to achieve any efficiencies. The Internal Audit Manager acknowledged the points raised and explained that all investigations followed set procedures, however, he understood that the Authority was reviewing the process with a view to streamlining its procedures.
Commenting on page 26, section 3.1, Councillor Bithell suggested that the wording be amended to make clear why this was important and the Internal Audit Manager agreed to do so.
That the updated Corporate Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and Fraud and Irregularity Response Plan attached as Appendices 1 and 2 be approved ... view the full minutes text for item 31