The Department has a broad ranging and comprehensive control strategy, which aims to keep fraud and abuse to a minimum. Our emphasis is to minimise risks of fraud and eliminate incorrect payments. In the control and delivery of services, the objective is to ensure that the Department pays the right person the right amount at the right time.
There is no contradiction between exercising fraud control and delivering good customer service. Everyone involved in the administration of the various social welfare schemes is aware of the need to implement appropriate controls at every stage of the process.
The control process is an integral part of our day-to-day operations.
There should be a high level of control awareness on the part of customers, in that they should know that:
- correct identification and documentation will be required;
- they may be subject to further checking at any stage of their claim; and
- they should report any change in circumstances which may affect their claim.
The key principles are:
- Prevention: To prevent social welfare fraud entering the social welfare system. Having systems and procedures in place to prevent and minimise the risk of incorrect payments and fraud.
- Detection: Where social welfare fraud occurs to develop our capabilities to identify and stop it as soon as possible. Ensuring that the public is aware of the risks and consequences of defrauding the system and dealing decisively with cases of fraud and abuse where detected.
- Deterrence: Where social welfare fraud is uncovered that sanctions are applied to those responsible. In addition, this plan is designed at reinforcing the rights and responsibilities of customers as well as improving public perceptions about the security of the social welfare system.
- Recovery & Debt Management: Where social welfare fraud is committed the effective and timely recovery of associated overpayments is imperative.
- Measurement of Outcomes: A system for the oversight and measurement of fraud control activity will be put in place in the context of the plan. This will incorporate reviewing and improving procedures where and when necessary.