In 2023/2024, West Dunbartonshire Councils Corporate Fraud Team received 129 referrals, all of which were accepted, with the vast majority progressed as investigations to varying degrees and outcomes  These referrals originated from a variety of sources including members of the public, internal Council departments, other Local Authorities, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office, other Government agencies and Police Scotland.

As a result of the diligent and proactive work undertaken by the Corporate Fraud Team associated to these investigations, £184,496.00 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction was identified as having been fraudulently obtained by persons who had no legitimate or valid claim to such monetary entitlements.

In addition to the above, approximately £13,000 in Single Persons Discount was identified as having been fraudulently claimed for, with the associated claims being cancelled.

Working jointly with West Dunbartonshire Councils Housing department, further investigations initiated and undertaken by Corporate Fraud Team resulted in the successful recovery of 5 Council owned properties from persons identified as not occupying these properties as their main and principal home and thereby preventing and inhibiting such properties from being made available and offered to others in genuine need of re-housing.

By way of further investigative work undertaken by the Corporate Fraud Team, £473,265.00 of Fraud was identified and prevented going forward in the form of notional savings using a formula provided by Audit Scotland.  Such preventative work is an important aspect of the work of the Corporate Fraud Team and is seen as a key component in tackling Fraud at the front end.

National Fraud Initiative

This initiative, known as the ‘NFI’, is a data matching exercise that takes place biannually and matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect Fraud.

During this period (to date) the participation and work of the Corporate Fraud Team has identified approx. £40,000 in Fraud, with further monetary savings anticipated upon completion of all the respective matches.

Prosecutions and Administrative Penalties

During this period, further action was taken by the Corporate Fraud Team against one individual who was reported to the Procurator Fiscal, the case of which was associated to undeclared employment whilst in receipt of benefits.