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Tackling fraud will be placed at the heart of the government’s fight to cut economic crime as the National Fraud Authority (NFA) transfers from the Attorney General’s Office to the Home Office from 1 April 2011.
Fraud costs the UK around £38bn a year and can have serious consequences for individuals, businesses and public services. The NFA is the government’s lead on combating all fraud types across the public and private sector.
The move will strengthen the UK’s ability to crackdown on fraudsters by ensuring a more coordinated approach and by building even closer links between the NFA’s work and the wider fight against organised and cyber crime.
Home Secretary quote
Home Secretary Theresa May, said: ’Fraud can have devastating consequences and is often used to fund serious crimes, such as terrorism, drugs and human trafficking at a cost to the UK of around £38bn a year.
‘The government is determined to give greater focus to tackling both serious and economic crime.
‘I welcome the move of the National Fraud Authority to the Home Office which will forge even closer links with our key partners in the police, Serious Organised Crime Agency and other law enforcement agencies.’
As well as building a much clearer picture of the scale of fraud in the UK the NFA has made significant progress tackling these crimes since its launch in 2008. This includes the creation in 2010 of Action Fraud the national fraud reporting centre which provides advice, guidance and a means of reporting for victims of fraud. They also update the Annual Fraud Indicator to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the harm caused by fraud, and support the work to tackle public sector fraud.
Attorney General quote
The Attorney General, the Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP said: ’Under the sponsorship of the Attorney General’s Office over the last two and a half years, the National Fraud Authority has made significant progress steering the efforts of the counter fraud community to fight economic crime more effectively.
‘We now have a much improved estimate of the scale of fraud in the UK, plus comprehensive programmes of activity tackling fraud in both the public and private sectors. Through Action Fraud there is also a single point of contact for every individual to report fraud and get the advice and support they need and a thorough understanding of the fraud landscape.
‘In transferring to the Home Office sponsorship, the NFA will be even more effectively placed to influence this significant element of the crime agenda.’
The NFA will continue to run Action Fraud as well as working closely with the Cabinet Office on a programme to reduce levels of fraud across the public sector.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: ‘By setting up our own Counter Fraud Champions we have shown that we will not tolerate fraud. The latest National Fraud Authority estimate reveals £21bn of fraud against the public sector and contrary to what many people think, fraud and error is not just confined to benefits and revenue. It affects every government department and impacts on the government’s ability to deliver better public services, while stripping the civil service of vital resources.
‘The new network of Counter Fraud Champions, based in all major government departments, are helping strengthen the fight against the massive amount of fraud and error in the public sector and the government’s Counter Fraud and Error Taskforce initiatives are already showing success in reducing fraud levels. I look forward to continuing to work with the National Fraud Authority to further strengthen our anti-fraud measures across Whitehall and the public sector.’
Notes to editors
1. The NFA will transfer to the Home Office on 1 April 2011 as an executive agency and will continue to take a leading role in tackling public and private sector fraud.
2. For more Information about the NFA go to: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/
3. For more details please contact the Home Office newsdesk on 020 7035 3535 or Attorney General’s Press Office on 020 7271 2440.