SFIS update 25/10/13

Posted on: 25/10/2013 17:16
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Dear Chief Executive, Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) The Fraud & Error Strategy: Tackling fraud and error in the benefit and tax credits systems contained a commitment to establish a Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) to investigate Social Security welfare benefit & Tax Credit fraud across Local Authorities (LA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and DWP. The strategy, including SFIS, was given Home Affairs clearance in October 2010. In 2011 an agreement was reached t...[MORE]

Craven District Council team stops £160,000 of benefit fraud - but is facing axe

Posted on: 21/10/2013 12:37
Link: http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/10741780.Craven_District_Council_team_stops___160_000_of_ben/
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Craven District Council prosecuted benefit cheats who made more than £160,000 in bogus claims last year. nThe authority’s legal team succesfully took action acgainst 11 people who claimed more than they were entitled to nBut the team is now under threat of being scrapped due to a government shake-up n...[MORE]

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 comes into force today

Posted on: 15/10/2013 08:22
Link: http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2013/10/poshfa/
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...[MORE]

DWP fraud investigator denies tax scam claim

Posted on: 18/09/2013 09:19
Link: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/incoming/department-work-pensions-fraud-investigator-6054781
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Business graduate claims she played no role in £885,000 deceptio nA fraud investigator came under investigation herself when HM Revenue and Customs found it had been cheated out of more than £800,00 nBusiness graduate Elizabeth Lewis, 38, had been working as a benefit fraud investigator for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for 12 years when she was arrested along with her husband, Mark Scott Lewis, at their Rhondda home, a jury hear nHe later admitted cheating the taxman through the...[MORE]

Universal credit: Flagship welfare reform 'poor value' says watchdog

Posted on: 05/09/2013 09:08
Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23963867
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The government's flagship welfare reform has been badly managed, is "overambitious" and poor value for money, the spending watchdog has said. The National Audit Office said risks were taken with the universal credit to hit targets, IT systems had "limited functionality" and an unfamiliar project management approach was used. A national rollout of the new benefit has been delayed following IT glitches. ...[MORE]

Audit Commission’s National Fraud Initiative has future, fighting fraud under Cabinet Office

Posted on: 17/07/2013 16:39
Link: http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/2013/07/audit-commissions-national-fraud-initiative-has-future-fighting-fraud-under-cabinet-office/
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“We are delighted to welcome the official announcement that the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) will be retained and transferred to the Cabinet Office when the Audit Commission closes in 2015. The Commission is proud of the contribution that the NFI, and the close-knit team running it, make towards saving money otherwise lost to fraud, error or overpayment – amounting to over £1billion since it was established in 1996. We are greatly reassured the team will continue working to help organisations...[MORE]

Universal Credit direct payment demonstration projects - latest findings

Posted on: 17/05/2013 08:19
Link: http://www.24dash.com/news/universal_credit/2013-05-16-Universal-Credit-direct-payment-demonstration-projects-latest-findings
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The Department for Work and Pensions today published its latest report into the Universal Credit demonstration projects testing the payment of housing benefit direct to social housing tenants. Click on the link for full information....[MORE]

Legal threat over Universal Credit scheme

Posted on: 15/05/2013 18:42
Link: http://www.lgcplus.com/topics/benefits/legal-threat-over-universal-credit-scheme/5056201.article
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The LGA has threatened to take the Department for Work & Pensions to court if councils are forced to make benefits staff redundant because of the switch to Universal Credit. The sector body’s chief executive, Carolyn Downs, told the LGA’s executive meeting on Thursday that it had negotiated with the DWP for six months about whether 20,000 local authority benefits staff would be transferred to central government under Tupe conditions. Should the DWP decide Tupe does not apply, councils will ...[MORE]

Rent arrears to go up £180 under universal credit

Posted on: 15/05/2013 18:40
Link: http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/tenancies/rent-arrears-to-go-up-%C2%A3180-under-universal-credit/6526711.article
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Universal credit will lead to an average increase in rent arrears of £180 for each tenant, according to law firm Winckworth Sherwood nA major shake-up of the benefits system began yesterday with a pilot involving new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits, including housing benefit, into one monthly payment nBut analysis of a separate universal credit pilot by Winckworth Sherwood found that the move to one monthly pa...[MORE]

Tenants rent arrears soar in pilot benefit scheme

Posted on: 15/05/2013 18:36
Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21756567
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Rent arrears among tenants on a government pilot project that pays housing benefit directly to recipients have seen a big increase, figures show. One area is predicting a £14m loss if the new system is implemented for all its tenants, the BBC has learned nPaying housing benefit directly to recipients, rather than their landlords, will form a key part of the planned new Universal Credit nThe government says lessons will be learned from the pilot projects nIt wants to pay recipients directly a...[MORE]

Fraudsters cost us billions and find new ways to cheat

Posted on: 09/11/2012 11:16
Link: http://www.itv.com/news/2012-11-08/fraudsters-cost-us-billions-and-find-new-ways-to-cheat/
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If you pay council tax - get angry. What follows below could make you take a stand against the cheats costing us billions. For every law abiding council tax payer - this is an outrage. For those unable to access scarce local authority services - it is infuriating. Cheats are robbing billions from local councils. Now we have details of new figures and new cons. Fraud against public bodies is costing £20.3 billion a year - every penny sapped from the hard-pressed tax payer. Council losses accoun...[MORE]

Audit Commission Protecting the Public Purse report 2012

Posted on: 09/11/2012 11:11
Link: http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/e-ppp2012
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This report says that councils are targeting their investigative resources more efficiently and effectively, detecting more than 124,000 cases of fraud in 2011/12 totalling £179 million. But it urges them not to drop their guard, as new frauds are emerging in areas such as business rates, Right to Buy housing discounts and schoo nnnThe report gives the results of the Audit Commission's annual survey of English councils. It says that, despite these detection rates, more can still be done. The Na...[MORE]

Public Sector Fighting Fraud Awards

Posted on: 03/07/2012 13:51
Link: http://www.fightingfraudawards.co.uk/
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Every year in the UK, fraud costs public services an estimated £31 billion. Right across the public sector the fight against fraud has been re-energised and refocused. More and more public bodies are undertaking innovative pilots and initiatives, many of which are saving considerable sums of taxpayers’ money. This is important but often under recognised wor nThese awards recognise the efforts of those individuals and bodies within the public sector who have done most to combat and prevent fr...[MORE]

Government backs bill to criminalise subletting

Posted on: 21/06/2012 10:12
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A conservative MP has introduced a private members bill to parliament that would make subletting social housing a criminal offence. The bill put forward by Watford MP Richard Harrington had its first reading in parliament yesterday, and is due to be published ahead of a second reading on 13 July. If the bill is passed it would make subletting a criminal rather than civil offence, meaning it can result in a custodial sentence, and also allow the proceeds of subletting to be paid back to the so...[MORE]

DWP 'did not do enough to stop fraud among welfare-to-work companies'

Posted on: 21/05/2012 12:51
Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/may/16/dwp-fraud-welfare-work-companies?newsfeed=true
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The National Audit Office has said the Department for Work and Pensions did "not do enough" to stem hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fraud among private companies administering back-to-work schemes, even though it knew the risks. ...[MORE]

Three Jobcentre workers jailed for £1.7m plot involving 1,767 bogus benefit claims

Posted on: 05/05/2012 18:24
Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2139690/Three-Jobcentre-workers-jailed-1-7m-plot-involving-1-767-bogus-claims.html
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Ringleaders were executive officer grade civil servants Abused authorised access to Department of Work and Pensions database to research claimants all over UK Made fraudulent claims for tax credits, Jobseeker's Allowance and Sure Start Maternity Grants ...[MORE]

Housing benefits cheat failed to declare job

Posted on: 23/04/2012 13:54
Link: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/housing_benefits_cheat_failed_to_declare_job
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Twickenham resident Andrew Randell has been charged with cheating Richmond Council out of over a thousand pounds in housing benefit payouts he wasn’t entitled to, as he was receiving a salary nOn three different occasions Mr Randell failed to attend cautionary meetings with the Council to discuss the matter, and as a result the Council was left with no alternative other than to summon him to appear in court. nMr Randell, of Heath Road had received over £1,232.75 in overpayments after he starte...[MORE]

Fighting Fraud Locally: The Local Government Fraud Strategy

Posted on: 05/04/2012 08:47
Link: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/agencies-public-bodies/nfa/fighting-fraud-locally-strategy/
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Fighting Fraud Locally: The Local Government Fraud Strategy The cost of fraud to local government is estimated at £2.2 billion a year. This is money that could be used for local services nFighting Fraud Locally is a strategic approach developed by local gvernment, for local government, and addresses the need for greater prevention and smarter enforcement nFighting Fraud Locally outlines a strategic approach that, if adopted across local government, will not only enable local authorities to b...[MORE]

Tenancy fraud forum to launch in April

Posted on: 02/04/2012 10:22
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The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), in partnership with social landlord Viridian Housing and supported by the Audit Commission and National Fraud Authority (NFA) will launch the country’s first Tenancy Fraud Forum in April this year. nSocial landlords are encouraged to join the forum, bringing together their ideas and exchange information, share best practice and be the central point for practitioners in the field. The forum will launch at 10am on Wednesday, 25 April at the Department for...[MORE]

UNISON: Broken benefits contracts and 20,000 redundancies will waste millions

Posted on: 11/10/2011 12:52
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Millions of pounds will be wasted in compensation if Government plans to centralise Housing Benefit force local authorities into cancelling private contracts and axing staff. The warning comes from UNISON following the results of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, which revealed that 21% of Housing Benefit services are currently provided under private contracts or shared service arrangements with other authorities, and a further 8% of councils are in the process of tendering new contracts. ...[MORE]

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