COCs relating to Fraud

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    Hi folks
    Can anyone offer me any advice on this or give info on what their LA is doing?
    Are changes of circumstances that are the result of a fraud investigation recorded in your COC PI stats (PM5/BVPI78b).
    These changes do not appear on the DWP list of exclusions even though interventions and changes from HBMS are excluded.
    As fraud referrals can take a long time to reach a conclusion, if resulting changes are going to show on the COC PIs then there is the potential for some terrible figures (the proofs often come into the office a good while before the investigation is completed).
    It has come to light here that our assessors are all using different dates when it comes to inputting a change that has resulted from a fraud referral. Some are using the date that the change was notified to the Fraud team, some are using the actual date of change and some are using the date that the informatrion was passed from the fraud team. Basically it would seem our assessors do not see why they should be held accountable for a delay that is not of their making and will bring down their performance figures.
    We therefore need to standardise this process but need to first agree that these changes should be recorded at all?!?

    Any offers!
    Debbie P


    I don’t think that changes resulting from fraud investigations should be included in the PM stats, and that has certainly been the case (to the best of my knowledge) at all the authorities I have worked at in recent years.

    Although the MIS Guide is not explicit on this point, I think it is implicit in the guidance that proactively discovered changes should be excluded from the count. The guidance opens with:

    [quote:74ab1089f7]Change of circumstance means [i:74ab1089f7]any notice given in writing[/i:74ab1089f7]…by the claimant or another person or body…[/quote:74ab1089f7]

    I don’t think that you can consider your own fraud investigation team to be “another body”. Also, I seem to recall some guidance or other from a while ago that also mentioned the principle that changes discovered by proactive work would not count towards the COC stats. This seems to me to be consistent, as it would be strange if a LA fraud investigation could count towards the stats while an HBMS match or intervention cannot.


    Hmm…..last time I checked there was one set of Decisions and Appeals Regs for everything- not one for fraud cases and one for everything else.

    Isn’t that how ALL changes of circs should be dealt with….or is that too quaint a notion in the performance figures culture?


    Well, I guess Regulations really don’t enter into it, Andy. As the MIS Guide also states:

    [quote:4560723f43]…the change of circumstances PI…is not a work count [and] there will be occasions when a written notification is not included in the count.[/quote:4560723f43]

    It’s just numbers for the DWP to play with…


    While I agree with Andrew about not including the fraud referrals as a change of circs it still leaves the date for the calculation of LA error unclear.

    In the past I have agreed with Auditors that this should be the date the claimant was interviewed under caution.

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