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How we deal with fraud

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

2. Prevention, detection and investigation

The best way to fight fraud is to try to prevent it happening in the first place.

We've put a number of arrangements in place to detect and prevent fraud and corruption activity. This includes a thorough verification of the circumstances detailed on applications received for various services such as benefits and housing.

We also take part in a number of data matching exercises designed to identify discrepancies in a person's declared circumstances from records held.

In addition to the National Fraud Initiative where data is matched from other departments within the council, other government bodies, social housing providers and other partner agencies, the council is also part of the Kent Intelligence Network.

This is a collaboration arrangement between all Kent local authorities including Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent and Medway Town Fire Authority, the Kent district/borough and city councils; where information is shared to identify potential fraud. Further information about the Kent Intelligence Network can be found via Kent County Council.

If it is alleged that someone is committing fraud, it will be reviewed by us and, where appropriate, we will investigate. All allegations relating to benefit fraud will be passed to the Single Fraud Investigation Service at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Where it is proven that someone has deliberately attempted to get council tax reductions/discounts/exemptions, business rates reductions/exemptions, housing, any service to which they are not entitled, or have sub-let or parted with possession of their council housing we will have to take action.

In all cases we will look to recover the money back that we have lost and then consider whether any further action needs to be taken. This could include criminal proceedings. We will always publicise the details of any successful convictions to try to prevent others from doing the same.

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