The Council has a responsibility to protect the public purse through proper administration and control of the public funds and assets to which it has been entrusted. The work of the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT) supports this by providing a specialist independent function that is able to investigate all referrals to an appropriate outcome.
CAFT offer support and advice and assistance on all matters of fraud risks including prevention, detection, money laundering, other criminal activity, deterrent measures, policies and procedures, whilst delivering a cohesive approach that reflects best practice and supports all the corporate priorities.
All CAFT work is conducted within the appropriate legislation and the powers and responsibilities assigned to it as set out within the financial regulations section of the Council’s constitution. CAFT supports the council in its statutory obligation under section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 to ensure the protection of public funds and to have an effective system of prevention and detection of fraud and corruption. It supports the council’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to fraud, corruption, bribery and other irregularity including any money laundering activity.
CAFT staff are professionally qualified counter fraud specialists and are responsible for investigating all suspicions of internal and external fraud and/ or corruption. They conduct both criminal investigations as well as deal with civil recovery matters and disciplinary matters where appropriate.
There is a Fraud Awareness E-Learning module as part of the induction programme where you can learn more about types of fraud, bribery, CAFT responsibilities and of course your own responsibilities in relation to reporting fraud as a council employee.
CAFT prepare a risk-based annual plan which covers re-active and pro-active anti-fraud work in conjunction with the Internal Audit Team. They produce progress reports to the senior management of the Council and to the Audit Committee on a quarterly and annual cycle.
You can access all the Counter Fraud Framework Documents here. In addition to these documents, the council has a Gifts, Hospitality and Sponsorship policy contained within the Code of Conduct and breach of this policy could potentially be linked to fraud. In the course of their work for or on behalf of the Council staff may be offered gifts, hospitality or sponsorship by contractors, consultants, clients or other members of the public. In some instances, accepting such gifts could place staff in a serious predicament, open to allegations of bribery and corruption, disciplinary proceedings and or criminal investigation. Under no circumstances should gifts, hospitality or sponsorship be accepted to give personal, commercial, regulatory or contractual advantage (acceptance of bribes).
All workers are required to have an understanding and awareness of the Counter Fraud Framework - Bribery Policy Statement and Procedure. Accepting bribes is a matter to be investigated by the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT) and could result in prosecution. Any gift, hospitality or sponsorship that is offered in connection with work undertaken for the council (whether accepted or not) must be recorded in writing, immediately on receipt, or offer, on the Hospitality, Gifts and Sponsorship Declaration Form. For the full Gifts, Hospitality and Sponsorship policy, new starters should refer to the Code of Conduct in HR Policies Handbook once they join the organisation and have access to the council’s intranet.
The Head of Counter Fraud Operations is Declan Khan.
You can report all suspicions of fraud against the council and its partners to CAFT:
- by using the online reporting form
- Call the Fraud hotline: 020 8359 2007
- Whistleblowing line: 020 8359 6123
- Email - CAFT@barnet.gov.uk