Councils save £271m through fraud detection, CIPFA says

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has revealed that local authority fraud defences have saved councils around £271 million, over the last financial year.

CIPFA’s counter fraud centre compiled figures which suggest that councils are recruiting more counter fraud specialists to tackle complex high value offences, including the illegal sub-letting of council houses.

The group identified that councils had detected 77,000 fraud cases with the highest value fraud types being housing scams, and the most common type being council tax fraud.

CIPFA warned that there was also an emerging threat of fraud relating to Right to Buy, with the number of fraud cases in 2015/16 increasing by 344 compared to the previous year.

Rachael Tiffen, head of the CIPFA counter fraud centre, said: “Fraudsters beware – local authorities are getting smarter and more effective. This is saving taxpayers’ money and helping to get council houses, disabled parking badges and other vital services to the people who really need them.”