Ad Pen critirian

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  • #33736
    janinew
    Participant

    Morning All,

    Discussions between our Benefit Manager and the investigations team, indicate that we could be missing out on sanctions.

    Who amonst you use adpens regularly and in what circumstances, e.g. what is minimum standard that you apply?

    We have only done 6 in the last 5 years, what is adverage for you guys?

    kind regards J9

    #93787
    annes
    Participant

    I only get involved with adpens because I input the manual adjustment needed. Quick count about 20 last year and 17 so far this year. I would think the fraud message board would be the best place to ask about the criteria used to decide on an adpen as opposed to a caution or prosecution.
    Anne

    #93788
    janinew
    Participant

    Sorry I’m new, could you tellme how to get to that?

    #93789
    annes
    Participant

    Hi Jane

    It comes up on my list of available message boards but will not give me access because I am not a designated fraud officer. I think your fraud officers will need to post the message for you.

    Have a good weekend

    Anne

    #93790
    janinew
    Participant

    Thanks, I will contact the hbinfo team. I am a fraud officer! You have a good weekend too!

    J9

    #93791
    chris harvey
    Participant

    The number of ad pens (and other sanctions) are recorded on HOBOD on a quarterly basis up to April 2008. You can search by individual LA or area.

    I’m not a fraud officer but I believe ad pens are an alternative to prosecution and you should have evidence at prosecution standards before they are offered.

    #93792
    janinew
    Participant

    The issue we are looking at is the admission of guilt. The was we read the DWP policy is that NO admission of guilt is necessary, although the offence should be to prosecutable standard. Our Ben Man is dubious, so we were seeking the opion of others with regard to how often Ad Pens are used in those circumstances?

    #93793
    annes
    Participant

    Hi Janine

    The claimant has to sign a statement agreeing to pay the administration penalty which is a 30% penalty on the value of the overpayment. Not sure whether you would call this an admission of guilt.

    Anne

    #93794
    Rob Hawes1
    Participant

    Try Circular F11/2003 re ad pens, but basically you’re saying to the claimant ‘we think you committed such and such an offence, you have the choice to accept an administrative penalty or we will take the case forward for prosecution’.

    An adpen is not an easy sanction that can be offered if you think the person is guilty but you’re not quite sure that your evidence would stand up in court. If they refuse the ad pen, then you ought to prosecute. If you’re not prepared to prosecute the offence, then don’t offer an ad pen.

    The ad pen agreement that the person signs accepts that the LA believes it has sufficient grounds to instigate legal proceedings in respect of an offence. By signing the agreement, the person agrees to pay a penalty and the LA agrees not to prosecute in respect of that offence. If the person refuses to sign or later withdraws their agreement to the ad pen then the LA [i:843edee84a]may[/i:843edee84a] instigate those proceedings.

    Effectively it’s not an admission of guilt, unlike a caution, although you could make a very persuasive argument as to why anyone would accept an ad pen if they weren’t guilty. Then again, advocates coming from a welfare viewpoint could say that some people are so distressed by the investigation process that they’ll pay money to have the nightmare finished. You pay your money, you take your choice!

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