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East Suffolk recoups over £2 million in combating fraud, report shows



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The value of combating fraud in East Suffolk was more than £2.1 million last year.

The corporate fraud annual report 2021/22 found that the corporate fraud service’s investigation, prevention and identification of fraud made or saved around ten times the cost of the service – which cost £218,000 last year.

Councillor Geoff Lynch, chairing Monday’s meeting of East Suffolk Council’s audit and governance committee in which the report was noted, said: “Savings of £2.1 million is outstanding.

East Suffolk Council recouped over £2 million in combatting fraud. Picture: East Suffolk Council
East Suffolk Council recouped over £2 million in combatting fraud. Picture: East Suffolk Council

“It proves we have an excellent team combating fraud.”

The £2.1 million figure was calculated by adding the money made directly by deterring fraud to the potential costs saved. For instance, with Right to Buy fraud, the money saved by houses remaining part of the council’s stock rather than being sold at a discounted rate was taken into account.

Fraudulent use of Right to Buy had the highest value for the council, at £1.7 million across 12 instances of this type of fraud.

Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, and allows council tenants to buy their homes from the local authority at a discounted price.

The financial benefit of discovering four instances of social housing fraud was second highest, at £372,000.

The corporate fraud service conducts investigations into fraud across the district. It comprises of four employees – one full-time manager,

two full-time investigation officers and a part time intelligence officer.

Alongside Right to Buy and social housing, areas in which money was made through the discovery of fraud were: council tax; single person discount for council tax; local council tax reduction scheme; housing benefit; disabled facilities grant; small business rate relief, and rent payments.