Statement by Tánaiste & Minister for Social Protection in response to the report of the Comptroller General

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In response to the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General published today (Friday 26 September 2014), Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has said the Department takes a comprehensive and robust approach to combatting fraud and abuse and ensuring the welfare budget goes to those who need it.

“The Department's overriding aim is to ensure that it pays the right amount of money to the right person at the right time. While the majority of people only claim what they are entitled to, fraud and abuse is a reality which we are tackling on a number of fronts," she said. 

The Tánaiste said that the Department is alert to new and emerging forms of fraud and abuse and, in this context, a key aspect of its Compliance and Anti-Fraud Strategy published earlier this year is the use of analytics technology to predict which claims are more likely to be fraudulent. In doing this, it will allow the Department to target higher risk cases and to do so faster. This type of technology is also being used by many organisations, including Revenue, where it forms the basis for the assessment of risk and compliance activity.

Over the lifetime of the previous Fraud Initiative (2011 - 2013), a total of €1.9 billion in control savings was achieved in the Department. This is money that would have been paid by the Department but for the control measures implemented.  A target of €510m has been set for control savings in 2014 with 1 million reviews of individual claims to be carried out this year. 

The Tánaiste added:  “Tackling fraud and abuse is a key priority for the Department and for myself as Minister for Social Protection.  We continue to take this issue very seriously and will work with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General to ensure that our processes and controls are as robust as possible and are regularly reviewed as to their effectiveness".



Last modified:26/09/2014