Higher priority needed for tackling fraud in Wales

A new report by the Auditor General for Wales has stressed that public bodies need to collectively raise their game and learn from others to tackle fraud in Wales more effectively.

The Raising Our Game report examines the overall effectiveness of counter fraud arrangements at some 40 public bodies. The report points out that the first coronavirus case in the UK was reported on 31 January 2020 and the first coronavirus fraud case was recorded just nine days later. Since that time, the number of fraud reports has increased significantly across the UK – the media reporting an unprecedented number of scams linked to the virus.

The Auditor General identifies seven key themes that all public bodies need to focus on in raising their game to tackle fraud more effectively and makes 15 recommendations, including the need to strengthen strategic leadership, co-ordination and oversight of counter-fraud across the Welsh public sector.  

Adrian Crompton, Auditor General, said: “Investing resources in both preventing and detecting fraud is money well spent, particularly in the context of acute public sector funding pressures and the need to do more with less. The Covid-19 pandemic is creating an imperative for public bodies to collaborate more effectively in responding to scammers and fraudsters. Whilst individual bodies are responsible for their own arrangements, the Welsh Government also needs to enhance its strategic leadership of counter-fraud activities across Wales, playing a co-ordinating role where it can.”