Fraud and Error – help!

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  • #31825
    DJM
    Participant

    Our Head of Benefits has asked me to find “[b:08af51f175]Primary and Secondary legislation in relation to HB/CTB administration and the legal requirement around security against fraud and error – like interventions” [/b:08af51f175]- and I haven’t got a clue where to start! I’m not a Fraud Officer, and don’t know much about Fraud and Error at all.

    Any clues as to where to start looking would be gratefully received and much appreciated!

    #89006
    Kevin D
    Participant

    So, small subject then? ๐Ÿ™‚

    [b:d10179ec54]Interventions[/b:d10179ec54]: there is no legal requirement to carry out interventions. Arguably, it is still open to question whether or not interventions are lawful – this precise narrow point has yet to be fully tested at Cmmrs / UT. The case that got nearest to dealing with the point, without actually plainly stating a view, was in [b:d10179ec54]CH/1602/2008[/b:d10179ec54]. In that case, as with a handful of previous authorities, it seemed to be assumed that interventions were/are lawful.

    [b:d10179ec54]Fraud[/b:d10179ec54]: sections 111A and 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. The Fraud Act 2006. Theft Act 1968.

    That is just some bare bones for starters….happy reading….

    #89007
    DJM
    Participant

    Yep, small subject indeed! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Thanks for your response Kevin, much appreciated.

    If anyone wants me, I’ll be locked in a room, going through the legislation….. !

    #41941
    Anonymous
    Guest

    “Primary and Secondary legislation in relation to HB/CTB administration and the legal requirement around security against fraud and error – like interventions”

    Its not quite clear to me what is being asked for here. “Primary and Secondary legislation in relation to HB/CTB administration” could mean a lot of things. Or are they just looking for things that relate to security issues? Things like verification, interventions, HBMS and voice analysis technology are not really legislated for. Maybe just refer them to the legislation section on this site? 8)

    #41942
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Not asking a lot then, eh? For some reason I want to say the answer is “Carlsberg….

    …[size=9:64aaa80349]probably[/size:64aaa80349]”

    It sounds as if someone is preparing for tough budget negotiations and wants to justify every penny spent on visits and so on, right?

    Focussing purely on social security law, the obvious place to start is the Social Security Administration Act. Sections 5(1)(hh) and 6(1)(hh) say that Regs may make provision for evidence to be required in order to check the accuracy of an existing award (as distinct from a new claim, which is covered by subsection (h) of both s5 and s6). There are also specific powers for authorised officers to obtain information from a range of sources in Part VI of the Act. While these powers are intended to be used primarily in cases where fraud is suspected, the drafting is not confined to such cases – s109A(2)(a) lists general verification as one of the purposes for which they are authorised to act (“ascertaining whether a benefit is or was payable”).

    These provisions are backed up by s139A of the Act which gives the Secretary iof State the power to inspect authorities’ performance in preventing and detecting fraud. This is the enabling legislation for the BFI, which is no longer with us but the Secretary of State could reactivate such a regime with the stroke of a pen.

    As for Regulations, HB Reg 86 is pretty much all there is in the main Regs (and the equivalent CTB and SP-age regs). You also have the powers to susopend and ultimately terminate benefit if a claimant fails to cooperate – Reghs 11 to 14 of the HB&CTB (D&A) Regs 2001, made under Schedule 7 to the CSP&SS Act 2000.

    #41943
    DJM
    Participant

    [quote:4cf7495905]It sounds as if someone is preparing for tough budget negotiations and wants to justify every penny spent on visits and so on, right?
    [/quote:4cf7495905]

    Spot on!

    Thanks for all the responses, folks, I’ve now deposited a large amount of paper with the Head of Service’s secretary, let’s see what I get asked for next…. ๐Ÿ™„

    #89008
    Bob_Wagstaff
    Participant

    The Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996

    Reg 4(4)

    The accounting control systems determined by the responsible financial officer in accordance with paragraph (1) shall include โ€”

    (a) measures to ensure that the financial transactions of the body are recorded as soon as reasonably practicable and as accurately as reasonably possible, measures to enable the prevention and detection of inaccuracies and fraud,

    #89009
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Sections 139D to 139G of the Social Security Adminstration Act basically say that if the LA doesn’t do enough to prevent and detect fraud it can potentially be forced to put its administration out to tender.

    #89010
    Bob_Wagstaff
    Participant

    Also when signing the subsidy claim form, the section 151 officer declares that

    “I CERTIFY that I have examined the entries within this form and that to the best of my knowledge and

    belief –

    ยท the entries are accurate;
    ยท the expenditure, on which the claim is based, has been properly incurred in accordance with the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and the instructions made or having force thereunder, in particular the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 and the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992;
    ยท this claim for subsidy is on the form required by the Secretary of State and the information given on it is in accordance with those Acts and the instruments made or having force thereunder, in particular the Income-related Benefits (Subsidy to Authorities) Order 1998;
    ยท no amounts in this claim have been included in any claim by an authority or authorities* acting as an agent or agents* of this authority; and
    [b:280edaa9a5]the authority’s administrative systems, procedures and key controls for awarding benefits operate effectively and the authority has taken reasonable steps to prevent and detect fraud.[/b:280edaa9a5]
    This signature, certifying this claim, must be that of the officer responsible pursuant to Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 (Responsible Finance Officer)

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