Charity Commission joins the anti-fraud membership association Cifas

The regulator will have access to Cifa's National Fraud Database, which shares confirmed fraud data between more than 300 member organisations

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is to become a member of the anti-fraud membership association Cifas and gain access to its database, which has helped prevent more than £4bn in fraud losses in the UK over the past five years.

Cifas, which is a not-for-profit membership association and one of six specified anti-fraud organisations as provided for by the Fraud Act 2006, facilitates the sharing of confirmed fraud data between its more than 300 member organisations.

The commission said that early work with Cifas showed that the number of trustees with a match on the system was "at the top end of the range" compared with other sectors.

It said it also "found a higher incidence of ID fraud issues than is found in other sectors", and that it needed to examine why this was and consider alongside Cifas what action was need.

"Joining Cifas will grant us access to the Cifas National Fraud Database, giving us much quicker and easier access to intelligence that will support our work in managing the risk of fraud," a spokeswoman for the commission said

"At the moment, the extent of fraud in charities is not fully understood: membership of Cifas will help us better understand the scale of the risk."

A spokesman for Cifas said: "By joining, the Charity Commission is strengthening the anti-fraud fight that public, private and third sectors are engaged in."

Cifas requires the new member and Cifas itself to indemnify each other from damage resulting from any breach of statutory duties or the Data Protection Act.

Because the commission has undertaken a liability of more than £300,000, parliament was notified this week in a written statement from Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.

"Although this is an insured risk, the insurer's liability is limited," the commission spokeswoman said. "Both the commission and Cifas are confident that we are fully compliant."

Hurd's statement said that although HM Treasury had approved the liability in principle, MPs had 14 parliamentary sitting days in which to register an objection, before it was granted.

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