Audit Office recommends anti-fraud tools for UK benefits system

The National Audit Office has urged the Department for Work and Pensions to consider adopting the type of anti-benefit fraud tools used in Australia and France.

The National Audit Office has urged the Department for Work and Pensions to consider adopting the type of anti-benefit fraud tools used in Australia and France.

It made the recommendation in its International Benchmark of Fraud and Error in Social Security Systems.

The report cited a central national database for customer records already used in Australia and planned in France.

The Income Security Integrated System in Australia holds 23 million customer records. The database has made it possible for the government to run a number of data-matching reviews covering records from various agencies involved in providing benefits.

The report also mentioned a unique identifying number system used in France and the Netherlands to counter fraud, again designed to support tracking between agency databases.

The NAO added, however, that the UK's benefit fraud problem was no greater than any other country's, and that it generally was more aware of the problem and more enthusiastic about trying to tackle it.

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