£8 million fraud and overpayments uncovered by National Fraud Initiative – response by Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee
Chair of the Senedd Public Accounts Committee has responded to the findings of
General’s report published today, Tuesday 13 October 2020, which reveals
that £8 million of fraud and overpayments have been uncovered across public
services in Wales.
latest National Fraud Initiative (NFI) exercise for 2018-2020 found £8 million
of fraud and overpayments – an extra £2.7m compared with the previous round two
years ago. In his report, the Auditor General’s explains the increase was
mainly due to “several local authorities being more proactive in reviewing
matches between council tax single persons discount and the electoral
report also highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has “significantly increased
the risk of fraud”. The Auditor General says he is working with the
Cabinet Office to help address some of this risk.
response to the Auditor General’s report, the Chair of the Senedd Public
Accounts Committee, Nick Ramsay MS, said:
a time of continued financial pressure, the National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
makes a vital contribution to the detection of fraud and overpayments across
Welsh public services. The increased impact of the latest NFI exercise
demonstrates clearly the benefits of public bodies following up rigorously on
the data matching process. It is therefore disappointing that some
organisations are not investing sufficient time and effort to do so.
are seeing new fraud risks emerge through the COVID-19 pandemic and I welcome
the action that the Auditor General has taken to work with the Cabinet Office
to identify, develop and promote data matching facilities. I am also pleased to
see data-matching of COVID-19 business support grants paid by local authorities
included as part of the NFI in future.
this year, the Auditor General published a report on public bodies’
counter-fraud arrangements. The Public Accounts Committee will be taking
account of the findings of both of these reports during its planned scrutiny of
the Welsh Government’s 2019-20 consolidated accounts.”
National Fraud Initiative is carried out every two years and matches data
between organisations, systems and across national borders to help public
bodies identify potentially fraudulent or erroneous claims and transactions.
Auditor General’s report can be read in full here.