By Tony Collins
The Department for Work and Pensions’ auditors have qualified the department’s latest accounts for the 26th year in a row because of “unacceptably high” fraud and mistakes.
The high level of fraud and error is despite the DWP’s now being able to check every claimant’s benefit entitlements – particularly inconsistencies in earnings – through HMRC’s real-time information [RTI] tax system.
In 2014-15, the DWP carried out a bulk exercise to match RTI data against the DWP’s benefits information. The DWP uses RTI data to provide information on earnings as part of the calculation of claimants’ Universal Credit entitlement.
The National Audit Office, in today’s report on the DWP’s 2014-15 accounts, says that misreporting and incorrect processing of income and are responsible for estimated losses in 2014-15 of £1.12bn
A further £340m is lost through undisclosed and incorrect processing of data on living arrangements.
The DWP is the same department that’s pouring money…
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