Anti Fraud Policy


Unlocking Digital Skills for North East Businesses


In line with the ‘Responsibilities of ESF Beneficiaries in the prevention and detection of fraud in ESF projects’ guidance (2016), Unlocking Digital Skills for North-East Businesses is committed to maintaining an honest, open and well-intentioned atmosphere and to the elimination of any wrongdoing, and to the rigorous investigation and punishment of any such cases. 

To support this, all institutional staff are expected to observe at all times the fundamental precepts of accountability, probity and openness to be aware of both the risks and the need for vigilance at all times. 

Unlocking Digital Skills for North-East Businesses promotes a culture that deters fraudulent activity and has robust procedures in place both to detect fraud and to reduce the likelihood of these acts occurring, including financial regulations and procedures, codes of conduct and systems for internal control and compliance auditing.


In the context of ESF project activity, fraud is taken to mean the intentional distortion of financial statements, participant records or activity reporting which is carried out to conceal the misappropriation of assets for gain or undue advantage. 

The range of potential acts of wrongdoing are many and various, but would include such instances as:

Theft of cash or cash equivalents
Theft of property procured using ESF project funds
All frauds with potential for direct pecuniary loss, such as the submission of invalid travel claims, timesheets for salary payments or learner records
All frauds involving inappropriate use of project property (including intellectual property) or resources for personal gain
Money laundering
Concealment of material facts


In the event of any staff member becoming aware of an irregular occurrence relating to ESF activity, they should act in the knowledge that they are able to report the matter in confidence to their line manager, or to alternative senior management or governor representatives. Staff will be protected from any disciplinary action or other detriment in raising a genuine concern about fraud regarding of whether the subsequent investigation substantiates that concern.

Following the reporting of an incident, this information must be passed on within one working day and the Project Manager will then liaise as necessary with the relevant managers and the Chair of the Audit Committee and of the Corporation.

In cases of fraud or suspected fraud pertaining to ESF project activity the Project Manager will notify the relevant Contract Manager from the Managing Authority (Department of Work and Pensions) at the earliest opportunity.

Unlocking Digital Skills for North-East Businesses will fully co-operate with the Managing Authority and Treasury in the investigation of fraud and related offences.



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