Hackney Council sacks 7 workers for fraud

Internal fraud investigations at Hackney Town Hall have led to seven people being sacked

Internal fraud investigations at Hackney Town Hall have led to seven people being sacked - Credit: Archant

Internal fraud probes at Hackney Council last year led to seven people being sacked – one of whom was working elsewhere while on the clock.

Two of the staff given their marching orders had been suspended during an investigation into Hackney Homes – the arms-length organisation that ran the borough’s housing until April.

Two more were sacked for misuse of a parking permit and the other two were dismissed over housing scams.

A report published ahead of a town hall meeting last night also reveals 11 workers resigned or left under investigation between April last year and the end of March:

– 3 over misuse of a parking permit

– 2 who were working in the UK illegally because of their immigration status

– 2 for a “potential conflict between council employment and private work”

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– 2 for misusing the council’s email system

– 1 over the unexplained use of a purchasing card

– 1 over “irregularities” in their social housing tenancy or application

On top of that, another 11 cases were handed to other bodies such as the Met or the UK Border Agency, though it is not known how many, if any, led to prosecutions.

One of the 47 referrals handed to the fraud team last year came from the chief executive’s directorate – the council’s top table.

Of the 72 investigations concluded in the same time, 61 led to action and just 11 were dropped.

A town hall spokesman said: “The council expects all staff to abide by the terms set out in our code of conduct and will take appropriate action where these standards are not met.

“This is reflected in a number of staff being dismissed or being subject to disciplinary action following an investigation by the Audit Investigation Team.”

Eight more workers were disciplined and 19 were slapped with reports but the numbers were still down on the previous year when 14 people were sacked by the authority for committing fraud.

It comes on the back of last year’s revelations of a fraud probe at Hackney Homes.

Five workers were investigated. Two were sacked and the others were all disciplined.

Three cases referred last year came from the children’s services department, while 14 were from Hackney Homes and six from the Learning Trust – the town hall’s education department.