Council app to provide fraud reporting

The Government has chosen Telford & Wrekin Council to help it develop a fraud reporting smart phone app that will be available to all councils across the country.

Council app to provide fraud reporting

The new app, which will be funded by the Government’s Counter Fraud Fund, will build on Telford & Wrekin Council’s highly successful Everyday Telford app that was launched in 2013.

The Everyday Telford app which allows residents to report environmental issues from around the borough and allows the Council to save more than £8 per report by reducing contact costs.

Since its launch, the app has been downloaded 3,047 times and used to submit 7,567 reports.

The Council will use the money from the Government’s Counter Fraud Fund to further develop the app to add fraud reporting functionality, allowing residents to report a range of suspected frauds, or issues of enforcement including:

· Council Tax Support fraud

· Single Person Discount fraud

· Blue Badge misuse

· Business Rate avoidance

· Licensing abuses

· Trading standards violations

· Anti-Social behaviour.

Once the additional functionality has been developed, the phone app and web interface will be made available as a package, free of charge to all local authorities via the Council’s development partner, Bronze Software Labs.

Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Our ground-breaking app is making a real difference and that this has been recognised by the Government.

“The money we have been awarded will help to further develop the functionality of the app.

“The money from the Counter Fraud Fund will allow for additional work to be undertaken and for the app to be made more widely available.

“It’s so simple to use and it’s a very easy way that people can get involved in and support their local community.

“It’s already helping to make Telford and Wrekin a cleaner, greener and safer place by enabling them to easily report issues that matter to them such as graffiti, potholes or faulty streetlights.

“The new features will mean that we can also recover taxpayers’ money that would otherwise be lost to fraud.”

The Everyday Telford app was developed by Telford & Wrekin Council in partnership with borough-based mobile specialist software development company Bronze Labs.