Feeds

DWP loses £2.5bn to fraud and errors

IT fails to alleviate loss

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

About £2.5bn was lost to fraud and error in benefit payments over the last year, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The figure is down from £2.7bn over the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) previous financial year, but was still deemed too high for the NAO. Consequently, the watchdog refused to sign off the accounts – the 18th consecutive year in which this has happened.

Publishing the report, DWP Resource Accounts 2006-07, NAO head Sir John Bourn said: "Once again I have had to qualify my opinion on the DWP accounts because of the significant sums lost to fraud and error: 2.5bn or 2.1 per cent in the last year."

The report identifies limited IT integration as one reason for the high level of error, as well as complex benefits rules, poor business process design and human mistakes.

However, Bourn accepted that progress had been made in introducing new systems and procedures to reduce fraud and error and improve the recording of identified debts.

The report acknowledges a number of anti-fraud initiatives adopted by the DWP, including advanced data matching and comparing data from government and external sources.

It adds: "There are plans to further develop data matching using advanced IT systems, which will allow more timely identification of fraud and error and, in particular, help to target organised fraud rings."

In 2005, the DWP introduced its Debt Manager IT system to help cleanse data and put in place processes to support the valuation of overpayment debts recorded in its balance sheet.

Commenting on this project, Bourn remarked: "Work by my staff has confirmed that this has been done well and provides a sound basis for the future."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.