Councils detect £185m of fraud, but Audit Commission reckons ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

The organisation has just published its report ‘Protecting the Public Purse’ – billed as the country’s only annual survey of detected fraud against councils – and it shows that 121,000 scams were detected in 2010/11. The scams include false benefit claims, council tax discount cheating, unlawful use of council housing, cheating on council contracts, and also emerging trends such as criminals exploiting council’s transparency information to mislead councils.

However, councils have done better at detecting these scams over the last year, uncovering £185 million worth of scams, an improvement of 37 per cent from the previous year’s figure of £135 million. Even so, the Audit Commission estimates that councils could be losing up to £2 billion a year to fraudsters.

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