The Oxford City Council Counter-Fraud Team has made history.
Last week, at the prestigious Institute for Revenues, Ratings and Valuations (IRRV) Annual Performance Awards, which took place at the Telford International Centre, the team scooped the award for Excellence in Counter Fraud.
This is the third consecutive year that the team has been recognised by the Institute, having won the Excellence in Corporate Fraud award in 2016, and Excellence in Innovation award in 2017.
The IRRV has been operating the performance awards for 21 years. It’s an opportunity for organisations to be independently recognised in various categories for their outstanding performance and class-leading achievements.
At no time since the awards began has any one team from a single organisation been selected as winners three times, so this is seen as an exceptionally significant success.
Councillor Ed Turner, Board Member for Finance and Asset Management said: "I want to congratulate the team on this success - the latest of many. It's testament to their experience, professionalism and dedication that their efforts have been recognised by the rest of the profession.
"Oxford City Council made the decision some years ago to invest in our counter fraud investigation capability at a time when other authorities were cutting back. This has paid off by preventing large amounts of fraud, which would have cost the public purse millions of pounds and seen many council properties fraudulently purchased under right-to-buy or illegally sublet. It is important that people claim what they are entitled to, but fraud must always be detected and dealt with firmly."
The Oxford Counter Fraud Team has prevented fraud losses and generated revenue of over £12m for the Council since its inception in April 2015.
The other award finalists were all capable, professional and effective counter-fraud teams so to be the winners for the third consecutive year was a major achievement.