Cryptocurrencies, a pervasive trend for numerous years, have become an increasingly alluring playground for cunning scammers and fraudsters. The unregulated terrain of crypto trading has, unfortunately, provided ample opportunity for a plethora of individuals, including unsuspecting taxpayers, to fall victim to a myriad of deceptive tactics. In response to this escalating threat, the British government has undertaken the creation of a specialized entity—the Fraud Authority—a vigilant guardian in the realm of financial chicanery.
The Composition of the Public Sector Fraud Authority Team
A nascent force has been assembled with the explicit purpose of rectifying and uncovering fraud perpetrated against the general populace. Within the inaugural 12 months, this team sets an ambitious recovery target of £180 million.
Government Efficiency Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg champions the establishment of a Public Sector Fraud Authority, setting an even loftier target of £190 million for identified fraud recovery. The Domestic and Economic Efficiency and Value for Money Committee, meanwhile, ensures the formulation of enduring objectives by year-end.
Comprising counter-fraud virtuosos and data savants, the Public Sector Fraud Authority will harness cutting-edge technology and advanced analytics to fortify the bulwarks safeguarding public funds. A cross-sector advisory panel, slated to unveil its chairman in September, will provide sagacious counsel, strategically shaping the approach to fraud prevention and reduction.
Mandate of the Public Sector Fraud Authority
Underpinned by a £25 million fund, the Public Sector Fraud Authority endeavors to modernize the existing counter-fraud response, collaborating closely with diverse departments and public bodies to stress-test fraud defenses. Employing avant-garde methodologies and best practices, the authority aims to exert heightened pressure on fraudsters and fortify safeguards by:
- Spearheading ambitious counter-fraud plans for all departments and public bodies, subject to periodic reviews.
- Furnishing cabinet ministers, including those from the treasury and cabinet office, with regular briefings on the evolving fraud landscape.
- Offering expertise and support in addressing recurrent fraud risks and threats, facilitating the creation and rigorous testing of robust defenses.
- Establishing a National Counter Fraud Data Analytics Service, boasting advanced data capabilities, including social network analysis, to pinpoint, combat, and preclude fraud against taxpayers.
- Amplifying the utilization of fraud intelligence across diverse sectors to thwart a spectrum of specific threats.
Government Body Perspectives
Minister of Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg contends that public sector fraud is not a personal affront, but a perilous drain on taxpayers’ funds. The Public Sector Fraud Authority, in collaboration with BEIS and bank lenders, will leverage advanced data analytics to unearth and recoup losses from fraud.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke underscores the precision the new body will bring to bear on fraud, intensifying efforts across sectors. This initiative, he notes, dovetails with broader government investments, including £210 million for HMRC and £510 million for DWP to combat welfare fraud. Currently led by the esteemed public fraud expert Mark Cheeseman OBE, the team is awaiting the appointment of a new chair.
Mark Cheeseman, serving as the Interim Public Sector Fraud Authority CEO, advocates raising ambitions and challenges to heighten the impact on this underestimated crime. The launch of the Public Sector Fraud Authority draws inspiration from the triumphs of the National Fraud Initiative, which thwarted over £200 million in pension fraud. This initiative, a beacon of progress, is warmly welcomed as a formidable force uniting every sector against the insidious specter of fraud.