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Government outlines IT strategy to tackle £21bn of fraud

The government has outlined an IT strategy to tackle £21bn of annual fraud in the public sector.

The government has outlined an IT strategy to tackle £21bn of annual fraud in the public sector.

Collaboration was highlighted as a key part of its strategy to break down silos of information. All parts of public sector must work together to share intelligence on fraudsters; develop cross-cutting capabilities; and join projects using data analytics and procurement, it said.

Pilots involving the use of data analytics to screen application for tax credits have helped delivered savings of £12m over the past few months, it claims.

Further pilots are expected to lead to savings of £1.5 billion over the next two to four years, added the Cabinet Office.

According to the report, £2.4bn of fraud comes from public sector procurement fraud, which could include IT contracts. "Examples include collusion between suppliers to fix the price of goods or services provided to the public sector, through to false or duplicate invoicing to receive multiple payments on existing contracts," the Cabinet Office said

The government says it has saved £10.63m over the last six months through HMRC analysing information provided by prospective claimants on their tax credit application forms. HMRC expect to save £256m over the next four years by rolling this out across all new tax credit applications.

However, faulty IT systems have also cost the government in overpayments. Last year the Department for Work and Pensions lost the taxpayer £1bn due to poor IT systems.

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