An anti-fraud partnership between London councils has appointed the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to provide data analytics.
The London Counter Fraud Hub, supported by a grant from DCLG’s Counter Fraud Fund, was established in 2014, with the aim of saving £60m a year.
CIPFA will now help target fraudsters benefiting from unpaid council tax and business rates and illegal property letting.
Rob Whiteman, chief executive of CIPFA, said: “The London Counter Fraud Hub is one of the most advanced counter fraud programmes in the public sector. We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract in a ground breaking area of fraud prevention and looking forward to playing our part in protecting the public purse.”
Edward Lord, OBE, chair of London Councils’ capital ambition board, said: “As councils struggle with huge reductions to their budgets, it is imperative that we use new ways to root out fraud across the capital.
“The London Counter Fraud Hub will now give the London boroughs access to the most sophisticated data analytics to identify potential fraudsters and ensure that money lost to scams ends up in its rightful place – funding vital public services.”
Figures suggest that councils nationwide are defrauded of £2.1bn each year.
Last year, London councils detected fraud to the tune of £102m, with housing fraud accounting for £74.5m of the total.
The contract with CIPFA will operate on a payment by results basis.
A pilot phase will get underway in autumn this year, with the hub launching its full operations in early 2017.
Advanced analytics software and case management will be supplied by subcontractors, BAE Systems and further support provided by industry experts including Cifas and the Ordnance Survey.