Tackling fraud effectively in central government departments

Gilbert, Michael and Wakefield, Alison ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1553-9178 (2018) Tackling fraud effectively in central government departments. Journal of Financial Crime, 25 (2). pp. 384-399. ISSN 1359-0790

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Abstract

Purpose
Fraud has a significant effect on society. It has been estimated to cost the UK economy more than £50bn annually. The Government have signalled their determination to tackle these losses through a range of preventative, enforcement and collaborative activities. Diminishing police resources allocated to fraud means that this activity will need to be delivered by both law enforcement and civilian counter fraud teams. This paper aims to establish whether UK central government organisations have the legal powers, skills and regulation needed to tackle fraud effectively.

Design/methodology/approach
This research was based upon a literature review, which included academic and other material, a semi-structured interview programme and a survey of counter fraud champions.

Findings
Empirical data suggested that the effectiveness of central government civilian counter fraud teams is hampered by a fragmented legal landscape and a lack of skills, and that further professionalisation and regulation is needed to protect professional standards and individual legal rights.

Research limitations/implications
Postal survey had 50 per cent response rate – below gold standard of 70 per cent.

Practical implications
There are no practical implications, as this is a topical research area which is intended to inform counter fraud practice and development.

Social implications
This research highlights limitations on the UK central government’s ability to tackle fraud. There is therefore a low risk that, when published, this research could inform those considering fraudulent actions.

Originality/value
This research was undertaken for a professional doctorate and has been sent to the Cabinet Office to inform their professionalisation programme. It filled a potential gap in the academic literature by looking at the perceived powers, skills and regulatory pressures in place within the UK central government and the extent of the current gap between current practice and the delivery of a fully professionalised service.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1108/jfc-01-2017-0006
Additional Information: Citation Gilbert, M. and Wakefield, A. (2018), "Tackling fraud effectively in central government departments: A review of the legal powers, skills and regulatory environment of UK central government counter fraud teams", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 384-399. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-01-2017-0006 Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited
Keywords: fraud, professionalism, regulation, training, counter-fraud, legal powers
Subjects: Computing > Information security
Law and criminal justice > Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Alison Wakefield
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2022 11:02
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2022 11:02
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9276

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