DfE: Be alert to fraud risks

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued new guidance to help academies strengthen their financial controls and reduce the risk of fraud or financial irregularities.

In September, the department published a ten-page checklist for academies, setting out dozens of potential indicators of fraud, ranging from the behaviour of an individual to poor management information systems and missing documents.

The DfE also issued advice on other measures designed to reduce fraud risks, including:

  • ensuring anti-fraud and whistleblowing policies are in place, regularly updated and communicated to staff
  • providing regular anti-fraud awareness training for finance staff
  • ensuring financial controls are regularly assessed and are well designed and implemented
  • reviewing processes for references and background checks on new employees.

The department added: “To support our work on fraud and financial irregularity, we also want to hear ideas and actions from academies that might help to support preventing fraud financial irregularity. If you have any suggestions, please send them to our enquiry service.”

At Nicklin, our specialists can provide guidance on academy financial systems and suggest ways to strengthen them or on better options or ways of working to help reduce the risk of fraud. For more information, please contact us.

Posted in Academies News.