'Bribe' allegation at Town Hall has been substantiated, say council investigatorsPublished: 16 June, 2016
By RICHARD OSLEY
CAMDEN Council says a “bribery” allegation relating to the work of one of its own members of staff has been “substantiated”.
The case was revealed after a colleague reportedly blew the whistle at the Town Hall.
Information on an internal investigation was sent to councillors this week, although the full details of the case are understood to have been reserved for a small number of people at the council.
A report on fraud-busting is now due to be discussed at the Town Hall this evening (Thursday) by members of Camden’s cross-party Audit Committee. It reveals that there had been an allegation that an “employee is being bribed, ie that he has been ordering and receiving goods from a contractor in exchange for favourable treatment”.
The file goes on to simply state: “Allegation substantiated.” It says that the human resources department is “currently conducting disciplinary action”. It is understood police will not be involved. The allegation relates to a breach of staff rules rather than criminal behaviour.
Camden’s communications department said last night (Wednesday) that it could not comment on specific details of the case.
It is the most striking in a list of reports which came through to a confidential whistleblowing hotline set up for staff to privately report suspicious behaviour. Several of the allegations received through this method have not been substantiated, including a claim that a member of staff was involved in funding terrorism and that another was illegally sub-letting their own council home.
Allegations still under investigation include reports of cash theft from a library, however.
Internal fraud-busters are also reporting to the committee that over the past year Camden has found substance in 18 allegations against its staff for “fraud or malpractice”.
The outcomes of the cases included 12 dismissals, two resignations and a written warning. The numbers of staff involved are, however, a tiny minority of the council workforce as a whole.
Meanwhile, Camden is set to take further action against staff found to be misusing a loan system supposed to be in place to help them buy travel season tickets. The money cannot be used for other purposes and the council said that “it is anticipated that disciplinary action will be taken against employees who failed to comply with the scheme”.
A council spokesman said: “We conduct a series of internal audits each year to ensure our staff comply with our policies and procedures.”
Bribery Act 2010 HERE
Update 19 June 2016
The council report about the above and other such things is an officer report to the Audit and Corporate Governance committee HERE agenda item 13 - Annual Counter Fraud Report 2015 -2016 HERE