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Cabinet Office publishes Counter Fraud Functional Standard on GOV.UK

30 June 2020

THE CABINET Office has published the Counter Fraud Functional Standard (GovS 013) on GOV.UK. As the national body leading the fight against National Health Service (NHS) fraud, the National Health Service Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) positively welcomes this development and is already working to comply with the document’s contents.

The intention is to introduce the new Counter Fraud Functional Standard across the NHS by the end of this financial year. This is a positive step that will mean that the whole counter fraud community in the public sector is working to a common counter fraud standard, which can only enhance the collective effort to identify, prevent and prosecute frauds against the NHS and beyond.

Sue Frith, CEO of the NHSCFA, said: “We welcome the Cabinet Office’s publication of the Counter Fraud Functional Standard and will be looking to support NHS organisations to implement the change by the end of this financial year. In the coming months, we will be working hard with our stakeholders to keep them informed of developments and support them in what I recognise is a major piece of work for all concerned.”

The publication reinforces the Government’s commitment to fighting fraud against the public sector. It follows an extensive trial period where more than 123 public bodies have adopted the functional standard and are now working towards full implementation.

The Functional Standard has been reviewed and cleared for publication by members of the Counter Fraud Functional Board and by Lord Agnew, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office.

Future assurance-style approach

Taking a future assurance-style approach, the Cabinet Office will endeavour to provide a baseline assessment for those Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) who submitted evidence in 2019-2020. It will not be taking on any new assurance activity in 2020-2021.

All Departments and ALBs are expected to continue to work towards the full implementation of the Functional Standard and be compliant ready for 2021-2022. From 2021-2022, organisations are expected to obtain organisational assurance against the Functional Standard – this should be provided to the organisation’s Board or Audit Committee in line with the organisation’s existing approach towards assurance. The Functional Standard provides guidance to organisations on the arrangements for undertaking assurance.

Further guidance on the GovS 013 Assessment Framework will be published in due course, including how the Cabinet Office will obtain its assurance. The compliance level will be published in 2021-2022.

The Cabinet Office is encouraging all Departments and ALBs adopting the Functional Standard to make use of GIAA’s Counter Fraud and Investigation Services in order to help with implementation and assurance. The Counter Fraud Centre of Expertise is available to provide guidance and advice on meeting the requirements of the Functional Standard.