Charity Fraud Prevention Week – Taking Action

Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2021TAKING ACTION

If you suspect that your charity has fallen victim to insider fraud you should act promptly.

  • Refer to your response plan which should explain how, when and by whom the suspected fraud will be investigated, reported and resolved. It might include engaging external professional support.
  • Report the incident to your relevant national law enforcement agency. In the UK this is Action Fraud (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (Scotland only).
  • Report matters promptly to your charity regulator. For reports to the Charity Commission for England and Wales treat it as a serious incident. Use the online form to make your report, stating what happened and how you’re dealing with it.

BUILDING YOUR CHARITY’S DEFENCES

Checklist – Ask yourself:

  • Do we have a workplace culture in which fraud is never acceptable and everyone knows it? (An essential part of preventing fraud is to have the right ‘tone at the top’.)
  • Do we talk openly about fraud and is it clearly explained in our anti-fraud, bribery and corruption policy?
  • Is a whistleblowing policy promoted and supported widely within the organisation?
  • Are we developing standard operating procedures that reduce risk and encourage honesty? Are we making sure they are being followed?
  • Do we perform pre-employment screening of new recruits and in-service checks for established employees? Do we expect our partners to do the same?
  • Are we sharing our knowledge with other organisations so that known fraudsters cannot simply job-hop?
  • Do we offer support to employees in difficulty? (Desperation and dissatisfaction are common causes of fraud.)
  • Do we keep registers of gifts, hospitality and conflicts of interest? Are they transparent and reviewed regularly?
  • Do we provide mandatory anti- fraud and corruption training?
  • Is there a response plan for when an insider fraud does happen?