Additional subsidy sample testing when error identified

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  • #33875
    bod
    Participant

    Not sure if this is common practice when subsidy claim auditted but if an error, relating to a claimant’s income for example, is found in the initial sample do all auditors insist on a further 40 claims with the same income (etc.) types to be tested?

    If in the initial case sample of say 20 claims, 4 claims have individual errors relating to different income types etc. then a further 160 cases are tested solely on the income(s) that caused the error in question.

    Is this happening at all authorities?

    I’m confused ❓ ❗ ❓

    #94175
    trishc
    Participant

    We’re currently completing our 40+ testing and all of our War Widows (good job we only have 20odd!) so I’d think it is an across the board thing. Not sure how they will deal with errors discovered in the 40+ testing though, they arent due back here till next week…

    #94176
    bod
    Participant

    Thanks Trish

    Glad it’s not just us in isolation then, I was getting concerned.

    #47864
    Andrea Palmer
    Participant

    It’s definately across the board-we had 400 extra claims to check even though some samples made no difference to the clam such as the incorrect amount of DLA Mob used!

    #94177
    Simo
    Participant

    Never known that before. If we have errors in a cell then we are asked to check a further 40 only, not 40 for each type of error.

    If all of the errors relate to income then that is all we have to check and evidence. We would not look at just that income type, unless checking every claim and doing an amendment to the claim on that basis. If you are only testing one income type then don’t see how that can be extrapolated across the whole cell.

    So, if 4 different types of error in the same cell we would only do extended testing on 40, not 160 (4×40)

    #94178
    Rob Hawes1
    Participant

    And the Audit Commission’s July 2010 report ‘Local Government Claims and Returns’ shows just what good value all this testing is:
    Total number of subsidy claims checked in 2008/09: 354
    Total value of subsidy claims checked: £18,740,396,716
    Total net adjustments: £1,774,596
    Total cost of Audits £11,034,853

    #94179
    bod
    Participant

    Andrea – DLA(Mob) ?!? Whoa. 🙄

    Simo – do you have the Audit Commission or Private Accountancy firm?

    Rob – those figures certainly make the mind boggle! 😯

    #94180
    Simo
    Participant

    audit commission. I have looked at their instructions and regarding extended testing it says

    [quote:48cd13357c]A minimum sample of 40 cases should be taken for each cell where initial testing identified errors[/quote:48cd13357c]

    Does not say 40 for each error type

    #94181
    bod
    Participant

    Thanks Simo – very handy to know.

    You don’t have a link to those instructions do you by any chance or was it a paper copy you saw?

    #94182
    jmembery
    Participant

    We have just finished having to do 40+ case testing as in one of the origional sample cases the assessor put the change in tax credit starting from 23rd month whereas the AC said it should have been the 22nd.

    The potential (disputed) “overpayment” is £4.00.

    I wouldn’t like to guess at the cost of the additional 40+ cases being tested.

    #94183
    Rob Hawes1
    Participant

    We’re doing 40+ testing on backdating – total potential change in subsidy: £0.00.

    I refer back to my earlier post regarding the mis-match between the cost of audit and the errors found!

    #94184
    jmembery
    Participant

    I agree, in between postings I have been arguing with AC about 40+ testing in a case where payments are correct, amount of subsidy claimaed is correct but AC said it should appear in Extended Payment box. Happily, after discussions they reluctantly agreed the additional 40 cases testing weren’t needed.

    I have found that if you can get to the area managers of the AC then they are more reasonable than the people you have “on the ground”.

    #94185
    Rob Hawes1
    Participant

    That just might be the one occasion where it’s an advantage having the Audit Commission in! We don’t use the AC so, whilst they’re very pleasant and reasonable (he hastens to add in case they’re reading this!), they don’t feel able to countermand the AC’s instructions.

    #94186
    pamrichardson
    Participant

    What you havent included in these astronomical costs though is the cost to the authority of officers time in dealing with the testing and all the work that has to go into this…
    having said that, we use Audit Commission and they are always very good with us…thankfully!

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