ARGYLL and Bute Council’s Corporate Fraud Investigation Team (CFIT) recovered almost £80,000 in its first year and will continue its anti-fraud activities on a permanent basis.

The team - formed in October 2015 - is responsible for investigating revenue and benefit, council tax, non-domestic rates and other corporate fraud as well as acting as a single point of contact for ongoing housing benefit fraud investigations.

At the end of its first year of operation in September, the team had already detected £175,000 of fraud and successfully recovered almost half of that figure (£79, 535) with work ongoing to recover the remainder of the outstanding money.

The council has now agreed that the two investigators - which have until now been temporary – should be made permanent posts on the basis of them being self-financing.

Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “If our CFIT had not been in place a significant amount of fraud would have gone undetected and fraudulent activity would no doubt have carried on."