Highland Council's Fraud Awareness Training System Success
3rd September 2006
An E-learning system developed by The Highland Council to train staff on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit fraud awareness is such a success that it is now being used by 270 other local authorities across the UK.
The training package entitled "Focus on Fraud Awareness" makes the process of delivering quality training to a large number of front-line staff spread across a large geographical area both effective and efficient. All 110 front-line staff located in 37 Service Points throughout Highland have completed this course.
The Highland Council's Client and Control Manager within the Finance Service, Allan Gunn said: "As The Highland Council covers a geographical area larger than Wales, the challenge was for us to create an effective alternative to class-room Fraud Awareness training for our staff. We found that E-Learning was the answer and the result we have
is a high quality product that has been very well received both in Highland and the UK."
The Council received national funding from the Department For Work And Pensions to develop the system which is supported by systems provider Meritec Limited and the Council's IT partner Fujitsu Services.
As well as covering all topics relating to fraud, the product also allows for some personalisation to reflect local priorities. It also includes details of the DWP web site to remind authorities where Fraud Performance Management Information on all UK authorities can be easily obtained.
Staff responsible for developing the training system have been invited to attend a number of conferences across the UK to promote the project including the IRRV National Conference in October and the IRRV Benefits Conference in February, 2007.
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As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO). Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.
Kings Golf Club Inverness, (formerly known as Torvean Golf Club), has officially opened a new course and clubhouse on the north side of the A82 trunk road, on the outskirts of Inverness, marking the completion of a £12.35M investment as part of the Inverness West Link Road project. The official opening ceremony took place today, Friday 30th August 2019, with special guest Bernard Gallagher, former three times Ryder Cup Captain and the Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael.
The Highland Council is now inviting applications for Community Transport grant funding, to cover the three-year period from April 2020 - March 2023. The Council encourages both current grant recipients and new applicants to submit applications.
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Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
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The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
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