Lancashire County Council boosts anti-fraud measures in attempt to protect the public purse

Lancashire County Council has established a new team to reduce the risk of the authority falling victim to fraudsters.
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County Hall says that it is “lead[ing] the way within local government [in] preventing and identifying all types of financial crime”. That claim comes in an advert for a job as an investigator as part of the new set-up.

The team will focus on raising awareness of potential fraud in all corners of the county council and coming up with ways to ensure that it is prevented - protecting the publicly-funded coffers in the process. For the first time this year, County Hall set a budget which crossed the £1bn mark.

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However, the group will also be involved in investigating any financial crimes that do occur, working with the authority’s internal audit department to help improve practices and guard against any repeat.

A new team at County Hall is trying to bolster efforts to combat fraudA new team at County Hall is trying to bolster efforts to combat fraud
A new team at County Hall is trying to bolster efforts to combat fraud

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands that the investigator role is not a new one - and exists already as part of the county council’s fraud investigation function - but numbers are being bolstered under the new arrangements.

The job attracts a salary of between £32,000 and £36,000 and the advert for it emphasises that the authority is seeking an “expert strategist”.

Stressing the challenge of dealing with both fraudsters and, potentially, its victims, the recruitment notice adds: “You will need to be passionate about our organisation and making a difference to each service [area], using your critical thinking and analytical skills to identify key areas of weakness.

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“You will be a champion of counter fraud and fraud prevention, firmly establishing that we are the people to go to whenever an issue arises.

“The variety of work on offer is vast, working across the whole of the council, so you will need to harness your investigative talents and work closely with each service to save funds and prevent crime.

“Investigation work is dynamic by nature, so we want all of the team to remain flexible and be able to accommodate all the demands that come with the job. Joining us will allow you to make a real impact and establish a service to be proud of, be the difference, and help us combat financial crime,” the advert concludes.

Applications for the post must be received by 12th June.

The LDRS approached Lancashire County Council for comment on the new team.