William Eichler 04 November 2016

Anti-fraud initiative saves taxpayer £200m

Whitehall efforts to crack done on fraudulent practices have saved the taxpayer nearly £200m over the past two years.

The cabinet office’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) has identified and prevented fraud, overpayments and errors amounting to £198m in England from April 2014 to March 2016.

The highest value areas uncovered were pension fraud and overpayments. These were followed by welfare benefit fraud and overpayments.

The NFI cross-references data from almost 1,300 organisations from across the UK in order to expose potentially fraudulent discrepancies.

Cabinet officer minister Chris Skidmore said the NFI’s work enabled 54 properties to be recovered for social housing. 23,063 blue badges were also cancelled.

He added the initiative had led to the dismissal of 52 employees who had no right to work in the UK.

Mr Skidmore MP called on all public sector organisations to make the most of the NFI.

‘Many public sector organisations have limited capacity to investigate fraud leaving them vulnerable to risks of overpayments and fraudulent claims,’ he said.

‘I would like to see councils and other public sector organisations take full advantage of the National Fraud Initiative.’

‘By working together and maximising the benefits of the exercise we could save the taxpayer millions more over the coming years,’ he continued.

‘We must identify fraudulent individuals, safeguard taxpayers’ money and protect vital public services.’

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