Reporting fraud

Types of fraud

We are committed to developing an anti-fraud culture among our employees and the public. We have a dedicated Corporate Fraud Team in place specialising in the investigation of alleged frauds and irregularities. We want to make sure that fraud is prevented wherever possible and where detected, it will be thoroughly investigated.

Types of fraud

Tenancy fraud, for example:

  • Non-residence
  • Obtaining council housing by deception
  • Key selling (when a tenant sells their tenancy to another person for a one off payment or reward

Business Rates Fraud, for example:  

  • Not declaring the location of a business
  • Declaring that a property is no longer in use when it is
  • Dishonestly claiming an exemption from paying business rates

Council Tax and Council Tax Reduction Fraud, for example:

  • Claiming single person discount when there is more than one adult in the property
  • Having discounts and exemptions in place where there is no entitlement
  • Claiming a property is empty when there is someone living there
  • Claiming Council Tax Reduction for a property a person doesn't live in
  • Failing to declare a change in circumstance

Employee fraud, for example:

  • Criminal misconduct by a council employee or a contractor
  • Claiming travel and subsistence for journeys that were not made
  • Processing false claims from accomplices
  • Conducting personal work while being paid by the council

Procurement fraud, for example:

  • Bidding organisations colluding to agree that they will not bid competitively for a particular contract
  • Employees failing to declare an interest in one of the businesses bidding
  • Employees making false payments or overpayments to businesses
  • Businesses overcharging including, inflating hourly rates and applying excessive mark-up of goods.
  • Businesses submitting false invoices for work not completed, goods not provided and for extra costs deliberately omitted from the original quotation or tender
  • Businesses providing goods and services that are inferior to those specified or expected

National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

The Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers.  It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority.  It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.  Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified but the inclusion of personal data within a data matching exercise does not mean that any specific individual is under suspicion.  Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency that requires further investigation.  No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.  The exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.

Audit Scotland currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We must provide particular sets of data to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in Audit Scotland's instructions which can be found at Audit Scotland National Fraud Initiative.

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, normally under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.  It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

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