In 2019/2020, West Dunbartonshire Council’s Corporate Fraud Team received 203 referrals, of which 188 were progressed as investigations. These referrals come from a variety of sources including members of the public, other Government agencies or via the National Fraud Initiative. As a result of these investigations, we have identified £457,000 in benefit that has either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error.
We also identified £28,464 of fraudulent claims made to the Scottish Welfare Fund. This money comes from a dedicated fund to provide assistance for citizens in hardship and should only go to those people who have genuine need.
Working jointly with Housing we have recovered one Council house from an individual not occupying these properties as their principal home and thereby preventing this property from being offered to families in genuine need.
The Corporate Fraud team has identified instances of Council Tax Single Person’s Discount which have either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error amounting to £39,874 the relevant claims of which have now been ended.
In addition to actual savings achieved, investigation work has prevented £194,335 of fraud going forward in notional savings using a formula provided by Audit Scotland. Such preventative work is a key aspect of the work of the Corporate Fraud team.
In addition to recovering the money fraudulently obtained or claimed in error, as detailed above, the Corporate Fraud team has also taken further action by reporting 2 cases to the Procurator Fiscal and issuing three Administrative penalties totalling £4,273. These are similar to a fine and are used for less serious cases which are not reported to the Procurator Fiscal.