Recycling and rubbish collection days are changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

Somerset Council takes its responsibilities to protect the public purse seriously and is fully committed to ensuring the proper use and protection of public funds and assets.

All forms of fraudulent or corrupt behaviour are taken seriously. Internal or external, fraud or corruption by its councillors, employees, suppliers, contractors, partners or service users will not be tolerated.

Fraud

Fraud is the deliberate act of gaining a dishonest advantage, often financial, over another person. It is a crime.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales reveals there were 3.7 million incidents of fraud in England and Wales in the year ending December 2022 (Office for National Statistics). 86% of fraud instances are estimated to go underreported. This means that the scale of fraud is very significant, but under-reporting also hampers our understanding of the threat.

The National Crime Agency reports £2.46 billion was lost by businesses and individuals alone to fraud in the financial year 2021/22. This was a 17% increase on the year 2020/21.

Corruption

Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense (including fraud) which is undertaken by a person or an organisation which is entrusted in a position of authority.

Reporting council fraud or corruption

Members of the public are asked to contribute to the Council’s fight against fraud by remaining vigilant to the potential for fraud and reporting it where they suspect the Council is being targeted.

There are many different forms of fraud. Examples of the kind of thing you should report include:

  • fraudulent or corrupt activity by councillors, employees or any other person representing the Council
  • illegal behaviour by any representative of the Council
  • risks to health and safety on Council property
  • abuse or misuse of Council assets, for example buildings, vehicles or equipment
  • wasteful or uneconomic use of Council resources.

Council Fraud or Corruption can be reported by emailing anti-fraud@somerset.gov.uk.

All information will be treated in confidence and can be given anonymously if wished.

The Council will seek to recover any losses and follow appropriate sanctions against the perpetrators. This may include criminal prosecution, disciplinary action, legal proceedings and professional sanctions.

Reporting fraud anonymously

If you are concerned about remaining anonymous concerns can also be raised directly to the SWAP Internal Audit Services Counter Fraud Team through their Confidential Reporting Lines:

Confidential helpline: 020 8142 8462
Confidential email: confidential@swapaudit.co.uk
Confidential web form: Contact Auditors

Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud is where people claim Housing, Council Tax Benefit and/or Social Security Benefits and:

  • have no right to claim it
  • have not reported a change in their circumstances
  • provided false information

As with other types of fraud, benefit fraud can be reported to SWAP Internal Audit Services Counter Fraud Team through their Confidential Reporting Line:

Confidential Helpline: 020 8142 8462
Confidential Email: confidential@swapaudit.co.uk
Confidential web form: Contact Auditors

Where a person has been found to have claimed benefit fraudulently, the authority will take the appropriate action to recover the monies claimed fraudulently, and to ensure that the claimant is penalised.

For further information about Benefit fraud, please visit GOV.UK – Benefit Fraud.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is the activity of a person, often an employee, disclosing information about activity within an organisation that is considered illegal, immoral, illicit, unsafe or fraudulent.

The Council recognises that as a public body, it might receive a disclosure of this type of information, not just from its workers, but from members of the public.

Whistleblowing concerns can be reported to SWAP Internal Audit Services Counter Fraud Team through their Confidential Reporting Line:

Confidential helpline: 020 8142 8462
Confidential email: confidential@swapaudit.co.uk
Confidential web form: Contact Auditors

Our Whistleblowing policy page gives further information on disclosures and protections afforded to whistleblowers.

Fair Processing Notice

The personal information we have collected from you will be shared with fraud prevention agencies who will use it to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance, or employment.

Further details of how your information will be used by us and these fraud prevention agencies and your data protection rights, can be found by using the links below. Please be aware that this action is a precautionary step. We are not accusing anyone of fraud by using these sites. It is part of our duty to safeguard public funds and use all available means to do so.

Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy

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Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy

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Last reviewed: May 17, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: November 17, 2024

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