Government Understaffing

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I see a couple of Bulgarians have managed to scam some £54m in benefit payments. The court was critical of the DWP's checking procedures or, rather, the lack of them. Which is no doubt due to the chronic understaffing of pretty much all government departments.

How many DWP compliance officers would £54m have financed?

Replies (11)

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By David Ex
30th May 2024 19:36

Presumably no-one is accountable so no incentive. This £50m is no doubt the tip of the ice berg.

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By Gone Sailing
30th May 2024 19:46

Let the computer do (most of) the work .....

Housing benefit claimed for false address.....

If anyone from HMRC is watching.....

Every landlord to be registered with a unique identifier.
Every let property (occupied or vacant) needs an identifier - ie. every let, not every building.
Every tenant to know the identifiers - and written into the tenancy agreement.
Property identifiers to be on the voting register.
Property identifiers to be on the tax returns.
Property identifiers to be on the benefit claims.
Residential and Commercial.

Sit back and let the magic happen.
I suspect that a lot more will crawl out of the woodwork.

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By D V Fields
30th May 2024 20:58

Perhaps they could follow some AML rules in the future.

Presumably they will spend most of it re-running their adverts telling us how well they are doing it targeting the fraudsters, overlooking the five years it took them.

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By FactChecker
31st May 2024 00:21

A distinct lack of vision demonstrated there by the Bulgarians ... have they no ambition to make real money and get into the HoL?

Michelle Mone and PPE Medpro have set the bar high, but this was just a lazy attempt!

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By Jason Croke
31st May 2024 07:58

Remember when Harra said that 12,000 VAT registrations at an address in Wales "showed no evidence of fraud"?

With that level of critical thinking, you can probably see just how easy it is to defraud £54b from the DWP, because the civil service is no longer cynical or bothered about protecting taxpayer funds.

There may be nothing unusual or fraudulent about 12k Chinese companies registering for VAT at the same address, but the story only broke because the guy who lived at the house complained to HMRC.....HMRC's systems were not applying any checks it seems, so it's likely DWP wasn't either.

Harra also ignoring that a perfect fraud isn't detected, d'uh!

I suspect the DWP's internal moto is "If you have an address and a name, then you can make a valid claim". Thing is, the DWP dish out NI numbers like HMRC dish out VAT numbers, so the civil service builds in the fraud from the very start.

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By bettybobbymeggie
31st May 2024 08:16

I suspect many DWP compliance officers were too busy shafting those underworld gangsters taking part-time work but not declaring that when they claimed their carer's allowance for nursing dying family members.

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By Justin Bryant
31st May 2024 10:04

It's not just understaffing. If you halved the DWP's staff and replaced it with highly intelligent, skilled, ambitious people (the type of high-flyers you only really find in the private sector), then such frauds would be very unlikely indeed to happen in the first place and all would be fine probably. It's just a symptom of peanuts and monkeys basically and looking on the bright side the saving from paying peanuts in the first place offsets such fraudulent losses to a large extent.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
By paulwakefield1
31st May 2024 10:14

Oh you mean high flyers like the types running Big 4 audits?

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By Tom+Cross
31st May 2024 11:34

Goons exist in Westminster and Whitehall. Funding isn't the whole issue. The question is; the quality of the recepients in Whitehall, and from what I see, that is the chief problem. (See Ben Wallace's recent Daily Telegraph piece).
The civil service have existed for far too long, in a closeted environment, and I don't see any (material) change, in my lifetime. The whole set-up needs a good pruning.
Mandarins, I believe they are called? Personally, they give me the pith.

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Replying to Tom+Cross:
By bettybobbymeggie
31st May 2024 11:53

Tom+Cross wrote:
See Ben Wallace's recent Daily Telegraph piece

Hopefully you also read the Daily Mail in order to get a balanced view.

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Replying to bettybobbymeggie:
By paulwakefield1
31st May 2024 12:25


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