In July 2006, the Final Report of the Fraud Review Team was published on its efforts to answer three questions: what is the scale of the problem; what is the appropriate role of Government in dealing with fraud and how could resources be spent to maximise value for money across the system? Acknowledging that it could answer the ﬁrst of these, it did report its concerns that: the information on fraud is poor; that there is no national policy on fraud; that police resources had dwindled, that fraud investigative capacity is spread across organizations, often in ways that are uncoordinated, not cost-effective and do not use the full range of methods or sanctions; and that, as the interim review noted, ‘whether a fraud gets investigated can depend on whether the victim can organise and ﬁnance the investigation themselves rather than on the harm of the fraud to the economy and society’. The Report made a number of recommendations, some of which are noted in this book, which would be determined within a national strategy that would ‘take a ‘holistic’ approach, focusing efforts and resources where they are likely to be most effective rather than most attention grabbing, and focussing on the causes of fraud as well as dealing with the effects. The strategy will not replace existing strategies but rather to help coordinate ongoing efforts. Such an approach is likely to emphasise upstream action to prevent and deter fraud, such as educating consumers and businesses on how to avoid becoming victims. Despite these efforts fraud will still happen and the strategy will have to set priorities for downstream investigations and effective ways of punishing fraudsters and obtaining justice for victims. (Fraud Review 2006: 6) Overseeing this would be a National Fraud Strategy Authority. This would be responsible for:
the strategy; the measurement of fraud; helping integrate anti-fraud work and determine priority areas; assessing performance against the strategy; promoting awareness and training; disseminating good practice; acting as an information resource. A Multi-Agency Coordination Group would act as a forum within the Authority for the discussion of operational issues and action plans relating to the priority areas.