Charity Commission updates guidance on serious incidents, launches anti-fraud resource

The Charity Commission is consulting on proposed updates to its guidance for charities ‘What to do if something goes wrong: reporting serious incidents’. The guidance

aims to help charities identify what to report and when. Listing the most common types of incidents, the guidance explains what should be reported to the Commission (as well as to the police and other regulators). New checklists and a table of examples of what, and what not, to report to the Commission are included.

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Managing the risk of charity fraud

A new guide to help charities proactively counter fraud has been launched by Charity Finance Group and PKF Littlejohn. It is designed to help finance professionals and trustees to identify areas for improvement when building their resilience to fraud, and moving towards actively managing the risk of fraud.

As reported by Civil Society News, this follows the Annual Fraud Indicator released in May which shows that the cost of fraud to the charity sector has increased by 73 per cent from £1.1bn in 2013 to £1.9bn. » Continue reading news item ... “Managing the risk of charity fraud”

Avoiding a few common financial scams

The Charity Finance Group’s blog has a new article on ‘Friday Afternoon Fraud‘. This term can cover such things as:

  • Official looking emails asking for bank transfer
  • Fake bailiffs and phantom debts
  • Spurious invoices

Not explained here, but ‘Friday afternoon’ presumably refers to pressure on possibly inexperienced staff (or volunteers) when senior managers might be unavailable.

The article gives some basic tips on how to counter the problems – mainly simple and sensible policies and procedures.

Official moves to stop fraud in charities

The Charity Sector Counter-Fraud Group, set up by the Charity Commission along with other regulators and sector bodies, was reconfigured and re-launched in October 2015. The terms of reference for the group and its two sub-committees (Cyber Fraud Resilience, Fraud Risk and Resilience) have now been published by the Charity Commission.

The sub committees aims in summary:

to assess the current degree of readiness and capability within the charity sector, and to develop practical measures for dissemination/adoption.

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Resources and tips on tackling fraud in charities

The main learning points from the first national conference on charity fraud, held late 2015, have been compiled into a guide “for trustees and senior managers of charities in England and Wales as well as their professional advisors”.

It also signposts further resources and support, and has a summary of top tips for preventing, detecting and responding to fraud.

Available from Fraud Advisory Panel’s resources page, or direct link to download (pdf, 1.2MB) ‘Tackling fraud in the charity sector: A summary of conference proceedings‘.

Steps in preventing charity fraud

Third Sector has a useful article on ‘Facing up to the possibility of internal fraud’,

Authored by the chief executive of Cifas, a fraud prevention membership body, it points out that staff and volunteers “may be your greatest weakness when it comes to insider fraud” – but also your greatest strength. As the charity sector is diverse and complex, there is no silver bullet for fraud prevention, but he gives some starting points. » Continue reading news item ... “Steps in preventing charity fraud”