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First time entry results in a win for fraud prevention

As a first-time entrant, NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services were delighted with their success at the Government Counter Fraud Awards in 2016.

“We were both surprised and delighted to be shortlisted for the Excellence in Fraud Prevention Award,” said Fraser Paterson, manager of the Fraud Prevention team at NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services (CFS). “And, we were flabbergasted to win”, added Fraser.

Fraser and his team were impressed by the organisations supporting the Awards and felt that this gave the award scheme both gravitas and kudos. He also openly encourages other candidates to enter the 2017 Awards, remarking: “Don’t be afraid to have a go. Make sure you invest time and effort to prepare your entry so that it reads well, respond to the criteria and importantly include supporting materials.”

Impressive entry

The judges were impressed by CFS’s initiative in mining their existing data to identify an area vulnerable to fraud.

The approach they devised and the way it was executed – in clear, distinct phases and empowering staff – was also exemplary. Most significantly, the pilot could subsequently be extended and rolled out industry-wide for greater impact.

Shining a spotlight on fraud prevention

“Fraud prevention is not often seen as a priority so winning the award was a terrific shot in the arm”, revealed Fraser.

He said: “When people prioritise work based on a cost benefit analysis approach, fraud prevention often loses out. As part of a bigger team, this award shone the spotlight of attention on our work so that we received national recognition with both internal and external audiences. Winning the award gave us a real sense of pride, reward, and recognition.

“Several people from our team went to the Awards event and even though it was an unseasonably hot day, it was a very good experience.”

Promote, promote, promote

One of the key benefits of being shortlisted or winning a Government Counter Fraud Award is that it lends itself nicely to promoting a project, campaign, new initiative, or approach to tackling fraud.

“Behaviour insights is a relatively new and emerging approach to countering fraud,” explained Fraser. “Like it or not, as humans we have limited self control and are heavily influenced by what other people do. Our approach was based on making it easy and attractive for patients to follow the correct way to claim tax exemptions. Winning the Excellence in Fraud Prevention Award has enabled us to promote this new approach to great effect.”

You can read all about NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services’ winning entry on the Awards website.

Who will you nominate?

Do you know of a fraud prevention programme, campaign or initiative that deserves recognition?

The Excellence in Fraud Prevention award celebrates an individual or team who has undertaken outstanding, innovative activity to prevent losses from fraud. Demonstrating expertise and leadership, the approach could include the use of policies, processes, data-sharing, joint working or communications.

Nominees will be judged on:

  • the effectiveness of the approach and how this was measured
  • the benefits realised by the organisation, which could include financial savings, increased efficiency, boosting the money available for services, reputational enhancement
  • the innovative nature of the approach
  • the sustainability of the approach and potential for others to adopt it
  • how stakeholders were engaged and brought on board
  • the approach’s influence as a deterrent or in disrupting further fraud attempts.

How to enter

Entering the Government Counter Fraud Awards is simple. Plus, with three new awards launched this year, entrants have even more scope. The new award categories are:

  • Outstanding Proactive Detection
  • Government Counter Fraud Team of the Year
  • Government Counter Fraud Professional of the Year.

For details on all the award categories and to enter visit:

The deadline for entries is 10 August 2017.

Recognising excellence in counter fraud