MPs call for 'pause' on transfer of fraud investigation

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Posted on: 15/05/2014 13:58 by Lynne Troughton
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Some of you might have seen this, but I am sharing just in case

MPs have issued a warning about the potential for fraud and error under the government’s universal credit rollout and have called for the launch of a single fraud investigation service to be delayed.
The work and pensions committee, chaired by the Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, said in a report today that it was not yet clear how the Department for Work & Pensions would manage the housing costs element of universal credit without increased risks of fraud and error.
“Under the current housing benefit system, local authorities can cross-check claims across a range of data relating to other council services,” Dame Anne said. “Unless DWP is able to cross-check universal credit claims in a similar way it may be less effective in tackling fraud and error.”
The report said a planned single fraud investigation service (SFIS) covering all benefits should be delayed. The scheme, which would transfer staff from local authorities to DWP, is due to be implemented by March 2016.
But the committee’s report said today that this should instead take place alongside the rollout of universal credit, which is due to take place during 2016 and 2017