New figures published by the National Fraud Initiative show that it has prevented acts of fraud costing nearly £200 million in England over the past two years. Cabinet Office Minister Chris Skidmore has duly called upon local councils, housing associations and the wider public sector to take action on these findings and boldly determine to save even more money.
The Cabinet Office’s scheme identified and prevented fraud, overpayments and errors amounting to £198 million in England from April 2014 to March 2016. The highest value categories identified were pension fraud and overpayments, followed by welfare benefit fraud and overpayments.
The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) works by cross-referencing an extensive range of data from almost 1,300 organisations from right across the UK. This can highlight discrepancies, for instance identifying that a person’s listed as working while also receiving benefits and not declaring any income. The relevant organisation can then investigate and either amend or stop benefit payments.
From 2014 to 2016, the NFI enabled 54 properties to be recovered for social housing. 52 employees were dismissed or asked to resign because they had no right to work in the UK, while 23,063 blue badges were cancelled. Identifying the misuse of these public services brings benefits to the taxpayer as well as boosting organisations’ budgets.