Hertfordshire County Council’s finance team have revealed that they stopped an attempt to defraud the Council out of £1m.
In the Council’s Audit Committee meeting, the head of Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service, Nick Jennings, said:
“We have an accredited financial investigator who works as part of our intelligence team.
“That officer recently had a case reported to her that was identified by officers. It was an attempt to defraud the authority of just over £1 million.
“As a result of officers spotting that fraud before it happened we prevented that fraud from going ahead."
He also talked about the increasing number of attempted frauds aimed at swindling the Council out of public money specifically relating to Coronavirus grant schemes.
The service is designed to alert the Council to potential frauds before they are committed, potentially saving the Council thousands – or in this case, millions.
Audit Committee Chair, Cllr Frances Button, spoke positively about the service:
“It’s difficult to quantify the amount of money you save the council, because if you stop a fraud before it happens, how do you measure the benefit for us?” she said.
“I think we all know the benefit is absolutely huge – thank you for emphasising again that you work across all of our departments but also nationally.”