Minister Doherty publishes Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023

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Minister Doherty publishes Compliance and

Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023

New Strategy builds upon the success of the previous Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy for the years 2014 to 2018

In 2019, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will:
-       Target control savings of €530 million;
-       Review over 750,000 individual social welfare claims; and
-       Aim to recover €95 million in overpayments
Monday, 16 September, 2019:
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, has today published the Department’s Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023, setting out how the Department will tackle welfare fraud and overpayment during the period in question.
The Minister said:
“I recognise that the vast majority of our customers are genuine and that there are no issues in relation to their claims but in order to ensure that we continue to target all our available resources to those who need them most, it is essential that we combat social welfare fraud and error. This strategy provides us with a clear focus to our approach in tackling fraud and non-compliance over the next five years. Irish taxpayers - and society generally – need to be reassured that the system of control that we operate is robust and effective and this plan will help make sure that taxpayer money gets to those who genuinely deserve our support.
Under the new strategy, the Department will this year alone seek to achieve control savings of €530 million, review over 750,000 social welfare claims and recover €95 million in overpayments.
The Strategy comprises four pillars: “Prevent”, “Deter”, “Detect” and “Account”, which will be leveraged to ensure that suspected fraud and non-compliance in our welfare system is kept to a minimum during the lifetime of the Strategy.
The Department’s objectives under each of these pillars are as follows:
1.    Prevent: We will prevent error or non-compliance entering the system in the first instance by having robust scheme application channels and clearly defined assessment processes in place;
2.    Deter: We will discourage attempts to defraud the social welfare system by actively pursuing the recovery of overpayments and considering cases for prosecution where there has been deliberate fraud;
3.    Detect: We will detect instances of fraud and error in the social welfare system as quickly as possible through various control measures and techniques; and
4.    Account: We will ensure that control and anti-fraud measures are in place to protect monies entrusted by the taxpayer and authorised by the Oireachtas through appropriate governance procedures, oversight and monitoring.  Outcomes will also be evaluated with a view to informing future policy and approach.
Minister Doherty said:
The strategy is underpinned by a comprehensive implementation plan, which outlines how we intend to achieve our objectives. Of course, we must remain alert to new and emerging forms of fraud, and so our approach remains flexible and dynamic in terms of how it is structured.
An important focus for the Department under the new strategy will be the employer practices in relation to false self-employment and PRSI. 
Other key aspects of the Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023 include:
-       Continuing to target serious fraud through the work of the Department’s Special Investigations Unit and seconded Gardaí;
-       Further investment in Predictive Analytics technology to improve our capacity to detect non-compliant cases;
-       Undertaking control surveys of various schemes, including a new continuous surveying approach for some of the Department’s larger schemes.
-       Publicising the hotline and encouraging members of the public to report cases of suspected fraud; and
-       Working collaboratively with other Departments and agencies and with cross-border and international organisations to prevent fraud and non-compliance.
The full strategy can be downloaded from the Department’s website here
The Compliance and Anti-fraud Strategy 2019-2023 will build on the significant progress made under the previous strategy which operated during the years 2014-2018.
Over the lifetime of the 2014-2018 strategy, over €2.5 billion in control savings were achieved. This is money that would have been paid by the Department but for the control measures implemented.
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Last modified:16/09/2019