Local Authority Claim Accuracy

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  • #21144
    seanosul
    Participant

    In total 279 LAs out of 408 have claimed 98% or better accuracy rates for the first two quarters of the year.

    Of the 402 Local Authorities who returned figures for accuracy, 71 have claimed 100% accuracy. A further 109 have claimed 99% accuracy over a 6 month period.

    We have used accuracy figures to steer our tranining needs analysis and have invested very heavily in training new and existing staff. I am guessing that either the staff at these Local Authorities are so expert at their job that they can now process claims using one toe with their eyes shut or there is a strange definition of what is correct. As one of only 7 authorities returning less than 90% are there any tips from the perfect?

    #4493
    aosulliv
    Participant

    Sean,

    As discussed many times before, the only way that this coud be done is lying about your performance or these authoritys only have only claim and four Benefit Officers

    #4494
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    [quote:b3350cf365]As one of only 7 authorities returning less than 90% are there any tips…[/quote:b3350cf365]

    Yes. Delegate your checking to inexperienced members of staff who are therefore less likely to identify errors.

    Unfortunately, we still leave our checking to case officers who know their stuff and are brutally honest about accuracy. As a result, we too often find ourselves in the bottom quartile… 🙁

    #4495
    Anonymous
    Guest

    While I am highly sceptical about the veracity of all these returns, I don’t assume that [i:66b0dd3fa9]all[/i:66b0dd3fa9] of the high-performing authorities are either lying or have a caseload of three men and a dog.

    Some authorities, as I know from personal experience, do submit inaccurate (flattering) figures, either through deliberate machination or simply by not understanding what is required in a stats 128 return – and misunderstanding in a way that is favourable to their figures.

    On the other hand, there are also authorities which have introduced innovative procedures and work practices to address the issue of quality, and those LAs deserve whatever praise they get.

    #4496
    Kevin D
    Participant

    [quote:15e12219ec]In total 279 LAs out of 408 have claimed 98% or better accuracy rates for the first two quarters of the year.

    Of the 402 Local Authorities who returned figures for accuracy, 71 have claimed 100% accuracy. A further 109 have claimed 99% accuracy over a 6 month period. [/quote:15e12219ec]

    😆 😆 Ohhhh dear….. didn’t realise how hard it was to type when you’re doubled up with apoplectic laughter.

    St Albans: I have every sympathy. A perfect example of how PIs increasingly have little to do with (genuine) quality.

    Suggested addition to the realms of corporate graffiti: “[b:15e12219ec]Quantity is the new quality[/b:15e12219ec]”

    Or, as clmts might refer to it: “It’s all rowlocks, innit?”

    #4497
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    How about rather than checking your own caseload, each authority checks the accuracy of a neighbouring authority? I’d personally like to have a look at an authority that systematically claims 99%-100% accuracy quarter after quarter, just to see if it is all down to [i:51917515c0]innovative procedures and work practices…[/i:51917515c0]

    #4498
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I like that idea…I nominate a certain outsourced authority in Wiltshire to try it first.

    [size=9:1166a8821d]And I did not suggest it was [i:1166a8821d]all[/i:1166a8821d] down to innovation etc, Mr S![/size:1166a8821d]

    #4499
    RobBox
    Participant

    Some very recent BFI reports have made comment on 100% accuracy returns, and seemed to be fine with the results they sampled???

    So, we have been told!

    #4500
    jmembery
    Participant

    STATS128 is very limited in both the number of checks it requires and the detail of what it checks and I certainly do not think this indicator gives anything like a reasonable measure of quality. However, given 128s limits getting 98%-100% on this indicator regularly isn’t actually that difficult. Like a lot of things in Benefits it is a case of putting a lot of work in.

    1) Train your staff properly.
    2) Allocate your work properly so that complex cases go to experienced able staff and more straightforward work to newer or less able staff.
    3) Check 100% of new staff members work before notification until they are getting the calculation right the vast majority of the time.
    4) Do a large number of pre-notification checks. (In a recent BFI report an LA were commended for having a “peer review” of claims before calculation).
    5) Target your checks on cases where there might be an error. (More likely on a self employed private tenant than an owner on IS for example)
    6) Act on the results of any errors identified quickly to prevent that staff member continuing to make a mistake.
    7) Get your internal and external audit teams to review your checking procedures to see if there are ways they can be improved and to make certain the people doing the checks are reviewing cases properly.
    and give clear guidance to checking staff detailing what they have to check in each type of case.

    Then read the MIS guide for stats 128 properly so you correctly record the results. Often a case can be a “pass” for stats 128 but would be considered an error for internal checking purposes.

    If you already do all that and still don’t achieve 98%+ most of the time then you have a right to be sceptical about those of us that do.

    #4501
    seanosul
    Participant

    [quote:1615bca0b9=”jmembery”]
    [b:1615bca0b9]Then read the MIS guide for stats 128 properly so you correctly record the results. [/b:1615bca0b9]Often a case can be a “pass” for stats 128 but would be considered an error for internal checking purposes.
    [/quote:1615bca0b9]

    Hmmm.

    #4502
    jmembery
    Participant

    Has the correct Info Received Date been used? Has the correct Subsidy Codes been used? Has the correct person been made liable for the overpayment? Have enquiries been made regarding unpresented cheques / rent credits? Has the correct recovery method been used at the correct time? Is the letter correctly addressed and dated? Is the letter clear, easy to understand and Jargon free? Have all the customers’ questions been answered? Is the tone of the letter friendly and helpful? Have required cross checks been undertaken?

    All of these would “pass” 128 but fail our internal checks.

    #4503
    jmembery
    Participant

    I stand corrected, my checking officers tell me they would “fail” cases with incorrect subsidy codes or recovery decisions for 128 checks as well as internal checks.

    #4504
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Any error that does not affect entitlement would not be reported on Stats 128, but would be picked up as a ‘non-financial error’ on internal checking. We also would not record, for example, an incorrect start date on Stats 128, as the check is whether the current benefit in payment is correct – so I’m told.

    #4505
    jmembery
    Participant

    I thinks wrong start dates would now be a fail
    See the 2006/07 MIS guide.

    “The whole of the decision being checked has been made with regard to and in accordance with the law. Checklists for staff carrying out checks are contained in the 2005 HB/CTB Performance Standards (Claims administration – good practice) for new claims, changes of circumstances and overpayments”

    The link is below. it details start dates as needing to be checked.

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/housingbenefit/publications/perf-stands/parts/03c_clad.asp#

    #4506
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Yes, I read that definition after posting and it did seem to me that this would now bring in start dates…and subsidy issues

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