Our anti-fraud policy sets out our policy with regards to fraud and other forms of dishonesty.
Last reviewed: September 2019
- Why do we need this policy?
- Who needs to follow this policy and why?
- What’s our policy and how will we implement it?
- Roles and responsibilities
- Related policies, procedures and information sources
- Data protection, equality and diversity
Why do we need this policy?
This policy outlines our stance in relation to fraud. We will not accept or tolerate any level of fraud, bribery or corruption. We will promote honesty and integrity in all activities that we undertake and are committed to protecting all our assets. We will work tirelessly to prevent and expose all forms of fraud committed against it.
Who needs to follow this policy and why?
We will ensure that all our business dealings are conducted in an open, honest and fair manner. All our employees, board members and any third parties working on behalf of Social Work England are expected to conduct their business in an open, honest and fair manner.
All board members, partners, employees and any third parties working on behalf of us are expected to assume the highest standards of propriety and responsibility and play a key role in promoting an anti-fraud culture in keeping with the civil service code and the Fraud Act (2006).
What’s our policy and how will we implement it?
We operate with robust codes of conduct. One aim of these is to support the prevention of fraud and corruption. We require all members, staff and partners to adhere to, and act in accordance with, this aim. We will create robust internal controls which are designed to reduce the chance of fraud occurring.
Managers and heads of department will be required to identify the risks of exposure to fraud in their areas via a fraud risk assessment, to develop and maintain controls to mitigate and manage these risks and to comply with all internal and external legislative requirements. Additionally, the corporate risk register will identify the risk of fraud, together with mitigating actions.
During staff recruitment procedures, we will take steps to establish the previous record of potential employees relating to their propriety and integrity via written references. All members of staff are expected to adhere and comply with the ‘Nolan Principles.’
We have adopted several procedures to minimise the risk of bribery and corruption:
- Any gifts offered to employees should be reported to line managers, where it will be recorded in a register of gifts. Any gifts received by managers/directors will be reported to the chief executive. All executive directors and board members are required to complete an annual declaration of interests, hospitality and gifts.
- Any individual, organisation or other supplier of services working with, or on behalf of us will be selected via a transparent and competitive selection method.
- Additionally, we are committed to carrying out due diligence on third parties who work with or on behalf of us prior to entering contracts.
- All employees will be expected to complete mandatory training to ensure that fraud prevention and management policies are embedded throughout the organisation
- We will monitor and review its fraud policies and procedures wherever and whenever necessary
Investigating and reporting
Where fraud is suspected we will take direct action. All cases will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately. The manner in which this is delivered will be dependent on the circumstances of the fraud discovered.
The resulting actions may include disciplinary procedures, dismissal and criminal prosecution. In every episode of fraud we will seek to recover any funds lost.
Police and prosecution
It is our policy that all instances of fraud will be reported to the police. We intend to pursue a prosecution where evidence of wrongdoing is discovered.
It is our policy that we will make all efforts to recover any gain, asset and/or benefit which has been obtained through a fraudulent act. Where loss has been identified, legal advice may be obtained about the need to trace and/or freeze a suspect’s assets through the court, pending conclusion of the investigation.
Legal advice will also be obtained relating to the recovery of losses through the civil and criminal courts or deducting losses from any salary payments outstanding when the perpetrator is an employee.
During an investigation, an individual may offer to repay the amount that has been obtained improperly. The investigating officer will neither solicit nor accept such an offer as it may be construed as having been obtained under duress.
Any offer should be recorded and referred to the assistant director of people or chief executive. If this policy isn’t followed, the most appropriate course of action will be agreed between the policy owner and the HR manager, dependent on the circumstances.
Roles and responsibilities
4.1 Executive and assistant directors
Executive and assistant directors have overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this policy and must ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory obligations .As a minimum, executive and assistant directors will ensure the following:
- there are appropriate internal and financial controls in place to make sure all funds are accounted for and spent in line with the aims of Social Work England
- keep proper and adequate financial records for both the receipt, and use of, all funds, together with audit trails of decisions made
- take any actions necessary to protect Social Work England funds
- act responsibly and within the interests of Social Work England if fraud occurs. This includes reporting incidents of fraud, bribery and corruption to the relevant authorities, where appropriate, and ensuring Social Work England’s financial resources and assets are secure.
- a fraud manager is in place who will manage day to day responsibility for Social Work England fraud management and will be responsible for reporting any significant fraud issues to the DfE or Permanent Secretary.
Management at all levels are responsible for the communication and implementation of this policy in their work area. Management are also responsible for ensuring that their staff are aware, understand and comply with this and all related policies and procedures and that adequate and regular training is provided.
DfE have recommended we utilise the Civil Service Learning (CSL) counter fraud and anti-bribery and corruption training for our Managers. Management are expected to create an environment where staff can approach them with any concerns they may have about suspected fraud, bribery and corruption.
However, should a member of staff prefer (because their immediate manager is unavailable or indeed may be the cause for concern) then they should approach another manager or executive director via the Social Work England whistleblowing process.
All allegations of suspected fraud, bribery, corruption and/or theft brought to the attention of management should and will be:
- dealt with promptly
- reported to the assistant director of people
- have a full record created for all evidence received
- have all immediately available evidence checked to ensure it is sound and adequately supported
- dealt with under whistleblowing and/or disciplinary policy and procedures, where appropriate. DfE have recommended that we use the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) to carry out whistleblowing investigations. This will be managed within the whistleblowing policy with the HR manager.
4.3 All employees and partners
All categories of employees and others working with, or for, Social Work England are governed in their work by our policies and procedures including the code of conduct. All employees and partners are responsible for ensuring that they follow all instructions given to them by management, particularly regarding the safeguarding of public funds and the direct resources and assets of Social Work England.
As public servants, all Social Work England staff, partners and contractors are obliged to adhere to the principles of Managing Public Money. Colleagues are expected always to be aware of the possibility that fraud, bribery, corruption and/or theft may exist in the workplace therefore, all employees/volunteers should avoid the following:
- acting in any way that might cause others to allege or suspect them of dishonesty
- behaving in a way that would not give cause for others to doubt that Social Work England employees deal fairly and impartially with official matters
- give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given
- give or accept a gift or hospitality during any commercial negotiations or tender process, if this could be perceived as intended or likely to influence the outcome
- accept a payment, gift or hospitality from a third party, knowing or suspecting it is offered with the expectation that it we will provide a business advantage for them or anyone else in return
- accept hospitality from a third party that is unduly lavish or extravagant
- threaten or retaliate against another individual who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy
- engage in any other activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
Related policies, procedures and information sources
Data protection, equality and diversity
A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) and equality impact assessment (EIA) have been completed for this policy.
If you have a query about this policy, please contact Leanne Clarke, head of finance.
Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
8.2 Fraud by false representation
A representation (of fact or law) is false if it is untrue or misleading and the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.
8.3 Fraud by failing to disclose information
A person has committed this type of fraud if they dishonestly fail to disclose to another person information which they are under a legal duty to disclose, and intend, by failing to disclose the information to make a gain for themselves or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.
8.4 Fraud by abuse of position
A person has committed this type of fraud if they occupy a position in which they are expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person, dishonestly abuses that position, and intend, by means of the abuse of that position to make a gain for themselves or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss. A person may be regarded as having abused their position even though their conduct consisted of an omission rather than an act.
Last reviewed: September 2019
Policy owner: Tracy Watterson, Assistant Director – People and Business Support
Policy reference: POL_FRA_004
If you require a PDF version of this policy, please contact us.