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Anwar Majothi

Dodgy LibDems Toxic School


Email sent - 02/09/2009 at 07.58

Dear Mr Majothi

Last night Goddard said I should have reported the financial irregularities and they couldn't answer them if they didn't know what they were.

I asked a council question in February 2008 and he promised me a reply over the financial anomalies. When I had not received a reply by July I wrote to Scullion. When by November I had heard nothing I sent a registered post reminder to Khan. When I got no acknowledgement from him I again asked Goddard in the full Council meeting and he promised me a response. When I had heard nothing by February 2009 I again asked Goddard in a full council meeting and he told me I would never be given an answer.  I have sent hundreds possibly of reminders, which no doubt has led to my being branded now Vexatious With Knobs On.  Your comments please before I take this to the Standards Board regarding Goddard and Weldon.

Also, please send me the advice the Council claims to have received from the LGO regarding vexatious council taxpayers.  I am asking this under the FOIA.

Yours

Mrs S J Oliver
Stockport's Freedom of Information Campaigner


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Email sent - Wed 02/09/2009 07:11  to Anwar Majothi, Cllr Dave Goddard cllr.dave.goddard@stockport.gov.uk; Cllr Mark Weldon cllr.mark.weldon@stockport.gov.uk; cllr.sue.derbyshire@stockport.gov.uk; Cllr David White cllr.david.white@stockport.gov.uk, John Schultz chief.executive@stockport.gov.uk barry khan barry.khan@stockport.gov.uk; andrew.webb@stockport.gov.uk; Donna Sager donna.sager@stockport.gov.uk
Dear Sirs

Just in case you need a reminder:-

Stockport Council
Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy
Author: Corporate Governance Group Version: 1.3 Date 9th March 2009 Status: Approved


1. Introduction
1.1 As part of its vision to create an attractive and thriving Stockport, the Council is committed to safeguarding public funds and maintaining the highest standards of probity. In order to fulfil this commitment, it is crucial that the Council’s resources are properly safeguarded and the manner in which these resources are used is underpinned by a secure and controlled environment.
1.2 Stockport Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and will take appropriate action to investigate all suspected incidents of fraud or corruption. The Council is also committed to taking disciplinary and / or legal action against any person found to have committed fraud against the Authority and to recover any losses sustained.
1.3 This Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy sets out the Council’s commitment to creating an anti-fraud culture and maintaining high ethical standards in its use of public funds. The policy outlines the Council’s approach for dealing with suspected irregularities and the roles and responsibilities of employees and elected members in maintaining the required standards of probity.
The policy is underpinned by a Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and a Fraud and Irregularities Response Procedure and these documents should be read together with regard for one another.

Scope
2.5 The policy applies to:
• All Council employees (permanent and temporary, including employees working within schools)
• Elected members
• Agency workers
• Consultants
2.6 In addition, the Council expects that all stakeholders should maintain the highest standards of integrity in their dealings with the Council. This means being honest and open in their own dealings with the Council and being proactive in reporting genuine suspicions of fraud, irregularity or improper conduct by other Council stakeholders (see above list). Stockport Council expects that employees of partner organisations working with the Council will have an awareness of the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy, but recognises that will be subject to their own organisations’ policies and procedures.
2.7 The Council also has in place a Benefit Fraud Prosecution Policy setting out how both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit fraud will be dealt with. Any employee of Stockport Council suspected of committing
Council Tax or Housing Benefit fraud will be dealt with under the Benefit Fraud Prosecution Policy as well as this policy and its associated procedures.
The Policy also covers the areas of election fraud of insurance-related fraud. Any employee of Council found to have attempted to commit insurance-related fraud against the Council will be dealt with both under the arrangements for investigating insurance fraud and under this policy.

Definition
The Fraud Act 2006 defines fraud as activity aimed at securing a gain, causing a loss or exposing somebody to a risk of a loss, through false representation, failing to disclose information or through abuse of position. Crucially under the new Fraud Act, no gain or loss actually has to happen for a fraud to occur, the act of fraud is entirely defined by the actions or intent of the individual.
Corruption
4.1 Corruption may be defined as any conduct which amounts to:
• The offering, giving or accepting of an inducement or reward or indication of possible future reward, which would influence the actions taken by the Council, its members or officers.
• Dishonesty or breach of trust by a public officer in the course of his / her duty;
• The use of undue influence such as bribery or blackmail, which includes the use of election fraud. Any person who directly accepts, agrees of offers to accept any gratification from any other person to benefit him / herself or any other person is guilty of the crime of corruption.
• Hiring or promoting an individual inappropriately, or unduly influencing the hiring or promoting of an individual or otherwise inappropriately influencing the level of remuneration of an individual.
The person who makes the offer or inducement to another to commit a corrupt practice is also guilty of the crime of corruption. Although there is an active and a passive side to the crime, both parties are equally guilty of corruption.

Corporate Framework
5.1 This policy operates within the overall corporate framework designed to ensure appropriate standards of conduct from Council employees and other stakeholders. This Anti-Fraud Policy should be read in the context of the overall corporate framework. Other relevant policies and procedures include:
• Council Constitution
• Code of Conduct for Officers
Code of Conduct for Elected Members • Financial Procedure Rules • Contract Procedure Rules • Disciplinary Procedure • Fraud, corruption and irregularity procedures • System of Internal Control • Local procedure rules • Scheme for Financing Schools • Confidential Reporting Policy (Whistleblowing) • Council Meeting Procedure Rules • Policy Framework and Budget Procedure Rules • Executive Procedure Rules • Officer Employment Procedure Rules
6. Mechanism for Reporting Suspicions of Fraud or Corruption
6.1 Staff should report suspicions through their line manager or direct to the Chief Internal Auditor or Group Auditor. Where line managers receive allegations of fraud from staff, these should be reported to the Chief Internal Auditor.
6.2 The Council also has in place avenues for staff to report suspicions of fraud and corruption through the Confidential Reporting Policy. Matters will be dealt with where possible in confidence and in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This statute protects the legitimate personal interests of staff.
All referrals of suspected fraud, corruption or other irregularity will be referred to the Chief Internal Auditor for determination of the appropriate course of action.
Roles and Responsibilities
7.1 This section sets out the roles and responsibilities of groups and individuals within the Council to contribute to the effective management of fraud risk.
Corporate Director, Business Services (Section 151 Officer)
7.2 The Corporate Director, Business Services in his role as the Council’s Section 151 Officer has overall responsibility for establishing and maintaining a sound system of internal control. This system of internal control is designed to respond to and manage the whole range of risks that the Council faces. Managing fraud risk will be seen in the context of the management of this overall range of risks.
Corporate Governance Group

7.3
The Corporate Governance Group has responsibility for ensuring the Council has adequate counter-fraud arrangements in place. This covers: • An up to date Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy • A current Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy • A Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit prosecution Policy • An effective internal audit approach to provide assurance on the Council’s counter-fraud and corruption arrangements • A Fraud and Irregularity Response Procedure • Arrangements for the reporting and investigation of suspected frauds or irregularities
• Arrangements for ensuring that all employees are aware of the counter-fraud and corruption policy, strategy and reporting arrangements
Fraud and Irregularities Panel
7.4 The Council has established a Fraud and Irregularities Panel to take responsibility for ensuring that suspected frauds or irregularities are appropriately investigated and that the appropriate action is taken following the outcome of the investigation.
7.5 The Fraud and Irregularities Panel is responsible for: • Ensuring that a prompt and comprehensive investigation occurs in response to a suspected fraud or irregularity referral • Ensuring that appropriate legal or disciplinary action is taken against perpetrators of fraud • Ensuring that action is taken to recover Council assets where possible • Managing the dissemination of information about frauds to third parties • Ensuring that the weaknesses in procedures that allowed the fraud to occur are identified • Ensuring that appropriate action is taken to minimise the risk of
similar incidents in the future Council Employees
7.6 Every member of employees is responsible for;
• Acting with propriety in the use of Council resources and the handling and use of public funds.
Conducting themselves in accordance with the seven principles of public life set out in the first report of the Nolan Committee ‘Standards in Public Life’. These are; selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
• Being alert to the possibility that unusual events or transactions could be indicators of fraud.
• Reporting details immediately through the appropriate channel if they suspect that a fraud has been committed or see any suspicious acts or events.
• Cooperating fully with the investigating officer where a fraud investigation is taking place.
7.7 Council employees are often a key element in the prevention and detection of fraud and the standards expected of Council employees are set out in the Code of Conduct for Officers. In addition, employees in certain professions will also be expected to abide by codes of conduct and / or ethics set out by their professional institutes eg Accountants, Architects, Engineers etc.
7.8 Fraud prevention, detection and reporting is the responsibility of all officers and members of the Council and this policy requires that all suspicions of fraud are reported to the Chief Internal Auditor. Reports may also be made under the Council’s Confidential Reporting (Whistleblowing) Policy to one of the named officers within the policy, however where a suspicion of fraud is reported, this should be referred to the Chief Internal Auditor for determination of the appropriate responsibilities for investigation.
7.9 Where an investigation concludes that there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct for Officers, disciplinary action may be taken under the Council’s Disciplinary Procedure.
7.10 Where criminal activity is found to have taken place, the matter may be referred to the police in accordance with the Council’s Fraud Response Procedures. The Council will also carry out its own investigation in order to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate. Disciplinary action may be taken independently of any police decision to prosecute. The Council’s policy is to take recovery action to recoup any losses sustained through fraudulent acts by employees or other stakeholders.
Elected Members
7.11 The standards required of Elected Members are set out in:
The National Code of Local Government Conduct Local Government Act 1972 Local Authorities’ Members Interest Regulations 1992 The Council’s Constitution
7.12 Elected Members are required to comply with this policy and where suspicions of fraud are raised, these should be reported appropriately. Where there are concerns regarding the conduct of elected members, these should be reported to the Council’s Monitoring Officer or Deputy Monitoring Officer.
Audit Committee
7.13 The Audit Committee has responsibility for considering the effectiveness of the authority’s risk management arrangements, control environment and associated anti-fraud and anti-corruption arrangements. It is the role of the Audit Committee to ensure that actions are taken as appropriate to address risk-related issues identified by Internal and External Audit.
Standards Committee
7.14 The Standards Committee is responsible for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors and co-opted members of the Council. The Committee is also responsible for monitoring the operation of the Code of Conduct and will deal with any report from the Monitoring Officer on any matter that is referred by an Ethical Standards Officer to the Monitoring Officer.
Senior Management
7.15 The Council’s senior management are responsible for:
• Ensuring an adequate system of internal control operates within their area of responsibility.
• Creating and maintaining an effective anti-fraud culture within their area of responsibility.
• Ensuring employees feel able to raise suspicions of fraud or irregularity in an environment of trust.
• Ensuring awareness of the Council’s counter-fraud policy and the corporate framework within which it operates.
• Ensuring their employees are adequately trained to operate within the Council’s policy framework.
• Ensuring their employees are appropriately trained to fulfil their responsibilities for reporting suspicious activities.
7.16 Where an investigation concludes that fraud or other irregularities have taken place, a report of the findings of the investigation will be presented in line with the Fraud Response Plan to the corporate Fraud Response Group. This group will determine the appropriate course of action. It is the responsibility of senior management to implement this action and lead any disciplinary or legal action.
Operational Management
7.17 Operational managers are responsible for implementing and maintaining an adequate system of internal control within their areas. This includes responsibility for the prevention and detection of fraud. Management’s responsibility for maintaining adequate controls also includes the monitoring and reviewing of systems to ensure that controls are operating effectively. In addition, where frauds have occurred, management are responsible for implementing any additional controls to minimise the risk of future incidents.
7.18 Management are also responsible for training and development of employees to ensure they are aware of the Council’s policies and procedures and that they agree to operate within these parameters.
7.19 In addition, management are responsible for reporting concerns raised by their employees to the Chief Internal Auditor.
Internal Audit
7.20 Internal Audit is responsible for providing assurance that the Council has adequate and effective anti-fraud arrangements in place. Consequently, fraud or other irregularities may be identified during the course of routine audit work. Where this occurs, the auditor will discuss their concerns with their immediate line manager and the Chief Internal Auditor. The Chief Internal Auditor will then invoke the Council’s Fraud Response Plan where appropriate.
Where suspected fraud is referred to the Chief Internal Auditor, an initial assessment of the information available will be carried out and where appropriate the Fraud and Irregularities Response Procedure will be invoked.

Summary
8.1 This policy has set out the Council’s position on fraud and established the roles and responsibilities of Council stakeholders in contributing to creating a robust anti-fraud culture within the Authority. The policy is underpinned by an Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and a Fraud and Irregularities Response Procedure, both of which should be read in conjunction with this document.
Level 2 – Condensed Text  
to be published on Participant’s website
Stockport Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds to prevent and detect fraud. The Audit Commission audits the accounts of Stockport Council and is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by either the same or another body to see how far they match. These records usually contain personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found, it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made about whether an inconsistency is due to fraud, error or another explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The Audit Commission currently requires Stockport Council to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council is required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching for each separate exercise. These are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance which can be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi.
Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998 gives the Audit Commission the statutory power to request and use data in data matching exercises. This means that under the Data Protection Act 1998, neither Stockport Council nor the Audit Commission needs to obtain the consent of individuals involved to use their personal information in this way.
Data matching carried out by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice. This can be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi/codeofdmp.asp.
For further information about the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, please see www.auditcommission



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Email sent - 31/08/2009 08:01

Dear Mr Majothi

From the Fraud Act 2006:-

Fraud  
1   Fraud  
(1)   A person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of any of the sections listed in subsection (2) (which provide for different ways of committing the offence).  
(2)   The sections are—  
(a)   section 2 (fraud by false representation),  
(b)   section 3 (fraud by failing to disclose information), and  
(c)   section 4 (fraud by abuse of position).  
(3)   A person who is guilty of fraud is liable—  
(a)   on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or to both);  
(b)   on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine (or to both).  
(4)   Subsection (3)(a) applies in relation to Northern Ireland as if the reference to 12 months were a reference to 6 months.  
2   Fraud by false representation  
(1)   A person is in breach of this section if he—  
(a)   dishonestly makes a false representation, and  
(b)   intends, by making the representation—  
(i)   to make a gain for himself or another, or  
(ii)   to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.  
(2)   A representation is false if—  
(a)   it is untrue or misleading, and  
(b)   the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.  
(3)   "Representation" means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of—  
(a)   the person making the representation, or  
(b)   any other person.  
(4)   A representation may be express or implied.  
(5)   For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention).  
3   Fraud by failing to disclose information  
A person is in breach of this section if he—
(a)   dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and  
(b)   intends, by failing to disclose the information—  
(i)   to make a gain for himself or another, or  
(ii)   to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.  
4   Fraud by abuse of position  
(1)   A person is in breach of this section if he—  
(a)   occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person,  
(b)   dishonestly abuses that position, and  
(c)   intends, by means of the abuse of that position—  
(i)   to make a gain for himself or another, or  
(ii)   to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.  
(2)   A person may be regarded as having abused his position even though his conduct consisted of an omission rather than an act.


I think what has gone on over Harcourt Street and possibly over Mr Parnell, who suffered a financial loss, is covered above.

I look forward to your comments.
Yours

Mrs Sheila Oliver
Stockport's Freedom of Information Campaigner


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