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Civil Service

Protecting the public purse

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A Brilliant Civil Service, Unified open and accountable
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Lesley Hume, Executive Director, Fraud, Error & Debt team, Cabinet Office

Talking about fraud can be a difficult conversation. However, public money must be protected, and as the Civil Service is wholly committed to delivering a stronger, fairer Britain, it’s a conversation we must have. Fraud is now the most frequently occurring crime in the country (according to the National Crime Statistics), and to continue to respond to it effectively, we need to approach it with a culture of openness and transparency.

This approach allows the Civil Service to increase Britain’s capability to find and fight fraud. Civil servants are already carrying out invaluable work to counter fraud. With the support of an active, collaborative response across the Civil Service, we can continue to ensure that taxpayer money is spent on our vital services that need it the most.

As a civil servant, you can contribute to the protection of public resources by completing the Civil Service counter fraud, bribery and corruption training. This will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to remain vigilant against fraud.

Progress to date

Counter-fraud specialists across the Civil Service are striving to make an ever-increasing impact. They are making better use of data, setting standards for their work, and building a profession. In doing so, the capability of the Civil Service to deal with fraud is increasing and more fraud is being detected and prevented than ever before.

The Civil Service will launch the Counter Fraud Profession later this year. This will ensure that we continue to grow our pool of talented and highly skilled professionals working to protect public funds. Underpinned by strong standards, a training and development environment and a clear governance structure, the profession will bring together specialists working on fraud, helping them share knowledge and best practice to help us build 'A Brilliant Civil Service'.

Creating the right environment to tackle fraud

Whether or not you are a counter-fraud specialist, as civil servants we are all responsible for ensuring taxpayer money is spent where it’s needed most. Engagement and collaboration across the Civil Service is essential in achieving this. We have to continue to build a culture for countering fraud and ensure we are all aware of the risk and are continuing to take actions to prevent it.

Graphic with legend 'A Brilliant Civil Service'So, don’t be complacent. Complete the training and be aware. Know what to look for and talk about it. Know who to talk to about fraud and where to report it. By taking these steps you will be actively helping make Britain a world leader in our response to fraud.

Minister for the Constitution Chris Skidmore delivered a speech today on the steps the Government is taking to tackle fraud, and you can read it here.

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  1. Comment by C posted on

    I applaud the crackdown on fraud, would it not also be beneficial both financially and in terms of fairness to also close the various loopholes used by wealthy individuals and organisations to avoid paying there fair share. Although these methods may be legal it still seems deeply unfair and wrong.

    • Replies to C>

      Comment by David John Garton posted on

      I have recently seen government property sold at a third of the retail price
      I even offered more money and was told sold subject to contract I offered 100.0000 more how can that be right
      A four bedroom house with five garages and planning for a further four bed house in the grounds in Hayling £300.0000

  2. Comment by Gary posted on

    How do you become a "counter-fraud specialist"? I've never seen such posts or opportunities within my Department or the Civil Service generally. It's an area of interest for myself and should be for the service as a whole!

    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by Bill posted on


      Indeed, it sounds an interesting job, with no doubt a reasonable salary. I have never seen anything like that on Civil Service Jobs either.

    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by James posted on

      Gary, Bill,
      It is literally a specialist in countering fraud not specifically a job title so I would advise you to look at the job description, the requirements and the training you had had or would be expected to undertake.
      I apologise for this being vague, but the same job can have a different title in say DWP, HMRC etc.
      Perhaps streamling civil service jobs to include "investigator" would help? You will find all departments will be developing the professional capabilities of their fraud staff .
      In terms of a reasonable salary it is similarly graded so the salaries are what you would be familiar with. I have seen EO-G7 investigators. I started as an AO.
      The area itself is interesting/challenging and rewarding - it can be frustrating but the end results personally satisfying particularly when they have required initiative and a lot of persistence.
      There are investigators, intelligence officers, referral officers, policy officers, analysts and we all work together to overcome obstacles, establish facts, obtain the right outcome and protect the public purse.
      Networking in this area is not box ticking either - sharing information, advice and best practice is real. I am based in the North West and received great advice from a Local Authority manager in Cambridge who I bumped into. Everyone involved actively wants to combat fraud.
      The only real negative over my last x years has been the tasks you cover do not really fit with competencies required for generic promotion. You would often move for promotion and then return later.
      The current direction in establishing the area as a profession (which it always has been but to varying levels) will enable an unrestricted career and with increased development opportunities it really is seen as a very positive move to all involved.
      Sorry this is rushed .
      All the best if you do apply