Internal audit and fraud investigation

How we protect your money

As a local authority, we have a responsibility to:
  • protect the public purse
  • make sure the funds from your Council Tax are used for proper purposes in accordance with agreed plans and priorities
  • ensure value for money is obtained
  • ensure proper management of risks associated with all our activities
To help us achieve this we have:
  • a shared Internal Audit service with the London Borough of Richmond
  • a shared Fraud and Investigation service with the South West London Fraud Partnership 

Internal audit

Internal audit is a statutory function in local government, as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011, and is governed by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS). These standards set out the framework for internal audit and identify the key objectives, status and processes.

The Audit Committee regularly reviews the outcome of audit work and agrees the annual Audit Plan following consultation with departmental management teams.

The type of work we do includes:
  • risk based audits 
  • systems audits
  • computer audits
  • contracts and project audits
  • regularity audits
  • schools and other establishment audits (eg sports centres and libraries)
  • compliance with Council rules and agreed policies (eg Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations)

Fraud investigation

We have a team of investigators who are responsible for undertaking both reactive and proactive fraud investigations. This includes the investigation of fraud perpetrated externally against the Council (eg housing fraud, blue badge and parking/permit fraud) and internal fraud or misconduct by staff, councillors, partners or contractors.

We have a Joint Anti-Fraud Forum responsible for reviewing our fraud risk register. We have a programme of proactive fraud checks targeting areas from the fraud risk register. These include checks on high value payments to contractors, and salary and overtime payments. Data matching exercises are also undertaken in accordance with the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).