International Benchmark of Fraud and Error in Social Security Systems

Published in: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, House of Commons 1387 Session 2005-2006, 20 July 2006, 87 p

Posted on RAND.org on July 20, 2006

by Christian Van Stolk, Miriam Shergold, Amanda Watt, Hans Pung, Jan Tiessen, Paul Cannon, Jonathan Grant

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This report, which was commissioned by the National Audit Office (NAO), presents the results of a benchmarking exercise investigating the issue of fraud and error in the social security systems of eight European and non-European countries. The structure of the country studies follows a template which contains the main salient issues around fraud and error as identified by the NAO. The study describes the different systems studied, assesses the scale and prominence of the problem in a national context, and outlines measures taken to reduce fraud and error and steps taken to measure fraud and error. In addition to individual country profiles, an overarching analysis, which is presented in the Executive Summary, draws out the principal themes emerging from the comparison of the findings for the individual countries, and identifies considerations of particular interest in the context of fraud and error within the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (the Department). The analysis produced the following key findings: --rates of fraud at the Department appear comparable to those of other countries where comparisons can be made; --availability of data and methodologies for measuring fraud and error at national level vary considerably, but the Department is at the forefront in developing estimates of losses from fraud and error in social security expenditure; --the Department compares favourably in terms of awareness of fraud and error, and activities to combat the problem; --the Department, with support of the NAO, could lead an international exchange on the measuring and management of fraud and error; and --other countries' initiatives to tackle the problem of fraud may be of potential interest to the Department.

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