Anti-fraud and corruption strategy
4. Reporting Procedures
Fraud committed by Council employees
Financial Regulation 16 states that: (16.1) Any Chief Officer shall notify the Chief Financial Officer immediately of all financial or accounting irregularities or suspected irregularities or of any circumstances which may suggest the possibility of irregularities including those affecting assets, cash, stores, property, remuneration or allowances. (16.2) Any potential irregularities shall be dealt with in accordance with the Council's Antifraud & Corruption, Whistle Blowing and relevant Human Resources Policies.
4.2. In practice, employees should raise their concerns with the Monitoring Officer as outlined in the Council's Whistleblowing Policy.
4.3. The Monitoring officer should then bring the concern to the attention of the Chief Executive. If appropriate, the Leader of the Council should also be notified.
4.4. The Monitoring Officer will normally act as the delegated officer representing the Chief Executive. After consideration of the facts and initial evidence, the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Chief Executive will then decide what action and further consultation is necessary. It is imperative to avoid any action, which may compromise any subsequent internal or external investigation.
4.5. The following should be determined:
- Whether there is any substance to the matter and therefore a need to continue the investigation;
- Whether there is sufficient evidence to support disciplinary or legal proceedings;
- Whether there is a need to suspend an employee alleged to have committed an offence.
4.6. Should the irregularity involve a benefit claim, then this should be reported to the Department of Works and Pensions. In these circumstances, if the irregularity involves an employee or an elected member, it should also be reported to the Monitoring Officer.
4.7. Any investigations carried out in relation to employees' irregularities are entirely separate from, and do not form part of, the Council's disciplinary procedures. Following the completion of an irregularity investigation and subsequent report, it is possible that the internal disciplinary procedure may be initiated.
4.8 The Council's Disciplinary Policy and Procedures state that fraud is classed as gross misconduct. It allows for an employee to be dismissed, following consultation with Human Resources, without recourse to the progressive disciplinary procedure.
Fraud committed by Elected Members
4.9. Behaviour of elected members, including compliance with the law, is governed by the Code of Conduct for Elected Members.
4.10 Should an employee suspect an elected member of an irregularity, he/she should report their concern to the Monitoring Officer.
Fraud committed by individuals external to the organisation including partners, contractors and suppliers
4.11 The Council is committed to combating fraud and corruption from all sources, both internal and external to the organisation. Standards of behaviour and probity expected of companies and organisations employed by the Council and those in partnership with the Council, should be as high as those expected of Council employees and elected members.
4.12 All of the Council's written contracts should contain a clause that will enable the Council to cancel the contract on the grounds of impropriety, and recover any loss resulting from the cancellation.
Reporting suspicion of money laundering
4.13 All suspicions of money laundering should be reported, without delay, to the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), the Chief Executive.