What is it?
The Voluntary Sector Fraud Group's role is to:
- promote greater awareness of fraud risks in the charity and voluntary sector
- encourage a counter fraud culture in the sector
- work to identify and promote good practice initiatives, both existing and new
- so that the sector gets better at preventing, detecting and reporting fraud and financial crime. It was developed out of an initiative led by the National Fraud Authority and the Commission in 2011-12 after the results of their first charity fraud survey.
The aim of its work is to reduce the risk of harm to and the impact of fraud on the charitable and voluntary sectors by:
- raising awareness of fraud affecting the sector
- encouraging the development of fraud prevention initiatives and improved systems of control in charities
- encouraging better sharing of fraud information within the sector and with other government departments, regulators and the police
- achieving better detection and prevention of charity fraud through closer liaison with law enforcement agencies
Who is on the Group?
The Commission leads the Voluntary Sector Fraud Group, and chairs its Steering Group, which meets every 3 months. The Steering Group is made up of organisations/representatives from the sector, the police, government partners and professional bodies. These include NCVO, WCVA, ACEVO, the Small Charities Coalition, Community Matters, ACF, ICAEW, ACRE, the Charity Finance Group, as well as the National Fraud Authority, City of London police, HMRC, OSCR, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, FRSB and others1.
It also has a wider Stakeholder Membership, which is open to any sector organisation, partner or government agency which is committed to reducing the risk of fraud in the sector and feels that is can contribute to the aims above. The wider stakeholders will be kept in touch with developments via email, but we are hoping to organise a face to face discussion event for Stakeholder Members in 2013. If you wish to become a stakeholder member of this group, please email us with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
How does it work?
The Group's activities will be focused on a number of key theme areas, starting shortly with grant funding frauds and fundraising related frauds. We hope the Group can discuss what the regulators, police and government agencies are seeing in terms of the extent of the problem and methods on fraud related criminal cases and regulatory cases. In addition, we hope that the sector and its partners will share, in terms of their perspective on the extent of the problem, the challenges they face in detecting and preventing fraud issues and also their successes and best practices, by letting people know what they have already done and what is working well.
What has it done so far?
Some of the things that have already happened, or we are promoting:
- the Fraud Advisory Panel guidance for the public on Giving Safely aiming to safeguard charitable donations and encourage giving, and guidance from the Charity Finance Group in partnership with 15 public law enforcement and charity sector organisations, including the Charity Commission: Charity Fraud: a guide for trustees and managers of charities,
- exploratory work by the Charity Commission, Action Fraud (the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre) and the National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NFIB), on creating an improved system for reporting charity fraud with a view to increase the reporting of fraud
What work is coming up?
Key development initiatives underway are:
- partnership working with 'Get Safe on Line' and Action with Communities in Rural England to produce guidance for charities as part of a national 'Click and Tell' campaign to improve sector resilience against internet fraud
- working with the sector and other government departments to reduce grant funding fraud by developing stronger controls and improved sharing of intelligence
Top of page