Government data sharing fraud initiative saves £300m

31 Aug 18

The National Fraud Initiative has saved the government more than £300m across the UK over the past two financial years – a record since the exercise began.

These savings include £144.8m from occupational pension fraud and overpayment, £32.6m in council tax discount and £24.9m in housing benefit fraud or overpayment since April 2016, constitution minister Chloe Smith announced today.

In addition, the NFI has recovered £5.5m from tenancy fraud and an £18m saving from the ‘blue badge’ disabled parking permit scheme. A total of 31,223 blue badges were revoked or withdrawn.

The Cabinet Office’s NFI provides a data-matching service comparing public and private sector records to spot anomalies and potentially fraudulent activity.

A report published today sets out savings achieved between April 2016 and March 2018.

Writing in the report’s foreword, Smith said: “The risk of fraud is a challenge that all organisations and individuals face. The public sector is no different.

“Fraud is a hidden crime, with those who commit fraud actively trying to avoid detection, so we must proactively look for it.”

She added that the saving secured over the last two years were “a record for the NFI in any reporting period since its creation in 1996, and brings cumulative outcomes to £1.69bn”.

The report also includes the NFI’s strategy for the next four years.

This places a focus on innovation and collaboration, a greater emphasis on prevention and the development of solutions that are better tailored to local needs.

  • Vivienne Russell
    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and

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