Financial controls

The council commissioned Grant Thornton to carry out an independent review of financial controls, following the identification of a significant fraud committed by a former member of Re staff.

Following a criminal and financial investigation conducted by the council’s Corporate Anti-Fraud Team, the individual responsible for the fraud was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to two separate charges of ‘Fraud by Abuse of Position’ and received a custodial prison sentence. Capita has confirmed it has underwritten the loss from the fraud to the council.

The review was undertaken to enable the council to fully understand and document the circumstances under which the fraud was allowed to happen, and to also identify lessons learned.

The report identifies that there were insufficient financial controls in place in the outsourced finance and regeneration services. It also identifies that the council did not have sufficient oversight.

The council has been working with Capita to ensure that immediate actions have been taken to increase financial controls through revised procedures and processes; these have included increased controls of payments and revised schemes of delegation.

In addition to the report there is a detailed action plan. Our focus is now on working with Capita to deliver these actions quickly and in the agreed timescales. Progress will be reported to Audit Committee.

Some personal information has been redacted from Appendix E.