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New national fraud initiative for Hambleton

Published on Friday, 3rd August 2018

Hambleton District Council - Civic Centre

Hambleton District Council has been selected to take part in a new National Fraud Initiative in partnership with the Cabinet Office.

The National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) pilot scheme will allow the council to send business information to the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) who will cross match it with information from other public and private sector bodies to discover discrepancies between records.

Every two years the NFI works with both public and private sector authorities to conduct a series of data matching exercises for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud or error.

NNDR, also known as Business Rates, is a tax charged on non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, warehouses and guest houses which are used for business purposes. There are various discounts and exemptions that can be applied on NNDR accounts and fraud in this area is believed to be on the rise nationally.

“We are very pleased that Hambleton District Council has been chosen to participate in this national project,” said Louise Branford-White, Director of Finance.

“This pilot will enable the council to detect and prevent fraudulent and incorrect claims for discounts and exemptions on NNDR accounts. This will lead to the recovery of any underpayments due and limit future financial losses reinforcing the council’s commitment to safeguarding public funds.

“We will be working with our Counter Fraud team, Veritau Ltd, who will assist in investigating the matches and where appropriate the council will undertake legal proceedings.

“We expect to find only a small minority of businesses to have improperly or erroneously applied for discounts, but those that have done will be held to account for reducing the funding available to the council which supports local services.”

Anyone with information on fraudulent activity is encouraged to phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email counter.fraud@veritau.co.uk.”