The strategy has launched! Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally 2020
26 March 2020
The construction of the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) 2020 strategy started over nine months ago. Today the FFCL Board officially launched the completed strategy, which you can now download from our website.
Due to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding coronavirus the Board made the decision to postpone the FFCL Conference and Awards 2020 to a later date. But we had many of our leading figures and board members, whom you would have heard speak at the conference, put together some words for us outlining their key thoughts and testimonials.
This initiative has been in place since 2010 and I am lucky enough to have been involved in the previous two strategies as part of the research and the drafting, even though I have had four jobs in the time! It is cleared and endorsed by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the Local Government Association.
For FFCL 2020, I attended most of the workshops myself and saw first-hand the tenacity of local authority experts in this area; I have been impressed again at their skills, dedication and ability to be innovative when many have lost staff and are faced with new areas of fraud to tackle. The workshops were mostly organised by regional representatives and hundreds of experts have been involved; it demonstrates the appetite and commitment out there.
Whilst being a national Strategy FFCL is a partnership between local authorities and a partnership between local authorities and other sectors. It has stood the test of time. This is evidenced by the amount of offers we had of council wanting to collaborate for the 2020 Strategy; the range of activity this year showcased all areas of counter fraud work from fraud prevention and to working with law enforcement. Whilst fraud and corruption techniques evolve and fraudsters find new ways to get around the system and local authority fraud teams continue to show flair and determination to tackle this.
The FFCL2020 Strategy has four pillars of activity: Govern, Acknowledge, Prevent and Pursue underpinned by Protect activity and so we have looked closely at these areas. There are so many examples of good practice activity in this strategy using these pillars and we are very excited to finally be releasing it to all councils to start using to their advantage. So here are some highlights:
FFCL2020 is a shorter strategy with live companions which will be kept up to date across the year. The companions cover Standards, Landscape and Fraud Risks with other to follow, in the FFCL Knowledge Hub.
- Councils have already begun work on a number of working groups to tackle issues on: Measurement, Social Care Fraud, data and other areas. Over 250 Councils were seen in a massive engagement exercise.
- The FFCL Board will have a formal link into the Joint Fraud Taskforce, linking this area of work to the leaders in operational enforcement and tackling economic crime
- The existing FFCL Representative network will form a virtual group to exchange information and feed information upwards.
- LA Specific Counter Fraud Standards have been drafted by the National anti-fraud network, after consultation with 190 Las and will be published in the FFCL Knowledge Hub (private to Las).
- A ‘box of promises’ is revealed: around 30 offers of activity during 2020/2021, free tools, pilots, events and campaigns by councils, collaborating together or with other partners. Demonstrating the great work being done by councils
There is much to be proud of in this area, praising all the work that LAs do under the pillars. The 2020 awards have been postponed due to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding coronavirus, but we are looking forward to thanking and congratulating all involved at the rescheduled awards ceremony.
If you work for a local authority and want to get involved in 2020’s strategy contact us on email@example.com.
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UK Budget 2020: Coronavirus and local authorities
19 March 2020
Rishi Sunak released initial figures for the 2020 budget, including how much is going towards Coronavirus. In this blog Cifas' Director of Local Government, Rachael Tiffen, takes a look into the figures and potential fraud threats.