Laura Sharman 13 October 2020

Millions more of fraud and overpayments detected in Wales

An extra £2.7m in fraud and overpayments has been identified in Wales after several local authorities started comparing council tax single persons discount with the electoral register, a report has found.

A new report from the Auditor General found the process enabled councils to successfully cancel ineligible claims.

However, it did find that some local authorities reviewed very few of the matches they received, so did not do enough to address potential frauds.

The latest National Fraud Initiative (NFI) has uncovered £8m of fraud and overpayments in 2018-20, up from £5.4m in the previous two-year period.

The report warned that the risk of fraud has 'significantly' increased due to the pandemic.

Auditor General, Adrian Crompton, said: 'The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges for public sector organisations who continue to deliver services for individuals, communities and businesses in an extremely difficult time. So identifying £8m in this latest NFI exercise is an important contribution to public service funding across Wales.

'It is more important than ever that organisations have sound governance and controls in place to help protect vital services from the risk of fraud at this time of crisis.'

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