Below is an extract from a report submitted to
Audit Committee 17 July 2018
Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT) Annual Report 2018/19
2018-19 saw CAFT officers investigate and prosecute an unprecedented internal financial fraud. In Response to his officer resource was diverted from all sections within the team to deal with the investigation. The case was given the name Operation Rouble which subsequently proved to be the most challenging, complex and substantial fraud that Barnet has experienced.
- The fraud related to two offences of ‘abuse of position’ which were committed by a Capital Investment Manager, employed by Capita and working for Regional Enterprise. The offender created instructions for CHAPS payments in excess of £2 million to be processed in relation to fictitious compulsory purchase orders.
- The CAFT were notified in December 2017 and utilised their financial investigators powers to obtain tangible evidence which resulted in the offender being arrested and suspended within 24 hours of the investigation being initiated.
- The criminal aspect of the investigation was evidenced and prepared for prosecution within five months which subsequently led to the successful conclusion of the case in July 2018 which saw the offender being sentenced at Harrow Crown Court to 5 years imprisonment.
- CAFT has carried on the financial investigation and continues to do so in order to ensure all proceeds of crime are identified and recovered accordingly
- CAFT has also worked closely with Internal Audit and Finance in relation to recommendation from the external review of financial controls and the ongoing audit testing relating to financial controls.
- CAFT jointly conducting a payments data analytics exercise with Internal Audit in order to identify irregularities and/or make recommendations for improvement.
Further details of the investigation can be found in the noteworthy investigation section, and full details of the external review into financial control conducted by Grant Thornton is available on the council’s website Financial controls https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/council-and-democracy/finance-and-funding/Financial-controls.html
12 months later at Policy and Resources Committee 17 June 2019 Barnet Council decided to keep both Capita contracts largely untouched with a review sometime in the future.