What is fraud?
Many people can get confused about fraud in its general sense and how it applies to different situations.
In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. Fraud is a crime, and a civil law violation. In clear terms, fraud is a crime or offense where a person/persons deliberately deceive another/others in order to damage them — usually, to obtain property, finance or services from another unjustly.
Fraud against Local Government is estimated to cost billions of pounds per year. This is a significant loss to the public purse.
Somerset Council takes all forms of fraudulent or corrupt behaviour, whether internal or external seriously and is committed to:
- The highest standards of probity in the delivery of its services, ensuring proper stewardship of its funds and assets
- The prevention of fraud and the promotion of an anti-fraud culture
- A zero-tolerance attitude to fraud, requiring staff and Councillors to act honestly and with integrity at all times, and to report all reasonable suspicions of fraud
- The investigation of a risk-based response to all instances of actual, attempted, or suspected fraud. The Council will seek to recover any losses and pursue appropriate sanctions against the perpetrators. This may include criminal prosecution, disciplinary action, legal proceedings and professional sanctions