Fighting Fraud Together is the government's UK strategy for tackling fraud. The government's plan has three strategic objectives:
"AWARENESS: We will prevent more fraud by achieving a step change in awareness of fraud among the general public and organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors and in their ability to protect and safeguard themselves.
PREVENTION: We will prevent more fraud through stronger systems and controls in our businesses, and public and voluntary services.
ENFORCEMENT: We will strengthen our response to be tougher on fraudsters by disrupting and punishing them more efficiently and effectively".
The Charity Commission is one of 38 partner organisations working together to help deliver these objectives. We lead the Voluntary Sector Fraud Group, chairing a steering group involving charity sector representatives, the police, the National Fraud Authority, other UK charity regulators, HMRC and other government partners and professional bodies. The aim of this work is to reduce the risk of harm to and the impact of fraud on the charitable sector. Please view our page on the Voluntary Sector Fraud Group for more information about the Group and its work.
Charities can be victims of fraud in the same way as other sectors and we know that some individuals seek to exploit charities for fraudulent purposes. Fraud involving charities affects public trust and confidence and this is why we are involved in working across government and the sector to protect charities. We have published our own strategy for dealing with fraud, financial crime and financial abuse of the charity sector, and through our work we contribute directly to Fighting Fraud Together in the following ways.
- We raise awareness among trustees and the wider public of fraud and the risks and vulnerabilities that charities face, and in charities' ability to protect and safeguard their funds and assets
- We provide alerts and warnings to the sector to raise awareness of specific fraud and other risks as they come to our attention
- We publish the wider lessons from our investigatory work for the benefit of other charities and signpost charities to other sources of specialist information
- We provide online guidance for trustees with practical advice on devising and implementing measures to manage fraud associated risks and to prevent abuse
- We work to prevent more fraud and reduce losses attributable to fraud through highlighting the need for stronger systems and controls across the charity sector
- We continue to strengthen our co-operation and liaison with law enforcement and other government agencies to detect, deter and disrupt financial crime and abuse in charities
- We monitor trustees' reports of serious incidents of fraud and significant financial loss within their charity, and referrals made by others of serious financial crime and abuse in charities
- We ensure charities comply with our regulatory advice and directions
- We undertake investigations in the most serious cases in order to protect the charity's funds and assets and ensure public trust and confidence in the charity, using our regulatory powers where necessary and proportionate to do so
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