The Chair of the Senedd’s Public Account Committee, Nick Ramsay MS has responded to a report by the Auditor General for Wales, published on Thursday 30 July, which examines fraud risks associated with COVID-19.
During the pandemic, the number of fraud reports has increased significantly across the UK, with the first related scam reported just nine days after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed. In their report, Audit Wales state that public bodies “collectively need to raise their game and learn from others to tackle fraud in Wales more effectively.”
In response to the report by the Auditor General for Wales, the Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee Chair, Nick Ramsay MS said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic shows just how agile and inventive fraudsters can be in exploiting opportunities and weaknesses. Both the scale and range of their scams are alarming. It is more important than ever that all public bodies in Wales have effective arrangements in place to combat fraud and to protect the public purse.
“This latest Audit Wales report is a timely reminder that public bodies should invest resources into both preventing and detecting fraud. By strengthening their partnership working, they can tackle fraud more effectively. The Welsh Government must provide strategic leadership to drive improvements across the Welsh public sector in this fast-moving field.”
The Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee is responsible for looking at how the Welsh Government spends its budget to ensure the Welsh public gets the best possible value for money.