The Fire Authority has a Members' Handbook which contains its approved policies and procedures, strategies and Codes of Conduct and is available on the Internet in compliance with the publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act.
However set out below are the main objectives of the Fire Authority with regards to preventing fraud and corruption as well as contact numbers of how any external party can report their concerns.
East Sussex Fire Authority employs over 859 staff, with a turnover of over £38.2m a year. In administering its responsibilities, the Authority is set against fraud and corruption, whether it is attempted on the Authority from the outside or inside. The Authority has an effective Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy which is designed to:
The Authority's expectation on propriety and accountability is that Members of the Fire Authority and staff at all levels will lead by example in ensuring adherence to legal requirements, rules, procedures and practices.
The Authority also expects that individuals and organisations (e.g. suppliers, contractors, service providers) that it comes into contact with, will act towards the Authority with integrity and without thought or actions involving fraud and corruption.
The Authority is also aware of the high degree of external scrutiny of its affairs by a variety of bodies and people including:
East Sussex Fire Authority is determined that the culture and tone of the organisation is one of honesty and opposition to fraud and corruption.
There is an expectation and requirement that all individuals and organisations associated in whatever way with the Authority will act with integrity and that Members and employees, at all levels, will lead by example in these matters.
The Authority's employees are an important element in its stance on fraud and corruption and they are positively encouraged and expected to raise any concerns that they may have on these issues where they are associated with the Authority's activity. This they can do in the knowledge that such concerns will be treated in confidence and properly investigated and fairly dealt with. If necessary, a route other than a line manager or Fire and Rescue Service Finance Officer may be used to raise such concerns. Example of such routes are:
Members of the Public or other organisations dealing with the Fire Authority are also encouraged to report concerns through any of the above routes or, if appropriate, through the Fire and Rescue Service's Complaints Procedure.
If it is felt that you are unable to raise any concerns through any of the above internal routes then you may wish to raise them through Public Concern at Work (0207 404 6609), a registered charity whose services are free and strictly confidential.
Senior Management are responsible for following up any allegation of fraud or corruption received and will do so through clearly defined procedures, and:
Senior management are expected to deal swiftly and firmly with those who defraud the Authority or who are corrupt. The Authority, including the Authority's Members, should be robust in dealing with financial malpractice.
There is, of course, a need to ensure that any investigation process is not misused and, therefore, any abuse such as raising unfounded malicious allegations may be dealt with through appropriate legal action.