Online from: 1993
Subject Area: Accounting and Finance
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|Title:||Fraud in London local authorities: a comparative appraisal|
|Author(s):||Simon Wesley Lane, (London Boroughs Fraud Investigators Group, London Borough of Brent, Wembley, UK)|
|Citation:||Simon Wesley Lane, (2010) "Fraud in London local authorities: a comparative appraisal", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 17 Iss: 4, pp.387 - 403|
|Keywords:||Corruption, Fraud, Local authorities, United Kingdom|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/13590791011082751 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a comparative appraisal of structures, fraud loss and performance data in London local authorities (LAs) with that of the National Health Service (NHS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in order to test the Fraud Review's contention that LAs are “less well equipped” to deal with fraud than central government departments.
Design/methodology/approach – Primary research was undertaken through questionnaires to all London boroughs and interviews with key personnel in two comparator organisations.
Findings – London boroughs are no less competent or effective in investigating fraud. Each has a specialist anti-fraud response and has similar levels of performance as comparator organisations. Whilst London boroughs outperform in some areas such as sanctions per officer against the NHS and detection levels in benefit fraud against the DWP, there are concerns over higher per unit staffing cost, principally caused by the autonomous and diverse nature of local government. Further that some authorities are unaware of, or unwilling to deal with, certain fraud typologies.
Research limitations/implications – The research was limited to London local government and further work is needed outside the capital.
Practical implications – Recommendations are made for the introduction of an explicit statutory requirement for LAs to have an anti-fraud resource, standardisation of definitions and consideration of borough-based multi-agency fraud teams.
Originality/value – There has been no previous research of this type and it may be useful to government when considering how to deal with fraud, LAs and those with an interest in public sector fraud.
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