Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

BFI REPORT INTO HIGHEST BENEFITS-PAYING COUNCIL IN LONDON

  • Comment
The secretary of state for work and pensions, Alistair Darling has ...
The secretary of state for work and pensions, Alistair Darling has

today published a report by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) into

the administration of housing benefit and council tax benefit and

counter fraud activity by Haringey LBC.

In 1999/2000 the borough paid out£171.5m in benefits. This

was the fifth highest total in the UK and the highest in London.

An inspection, which took place at the end of last year, covered a

wide range of activity examining the procedures for Getting it Right,

Keeping it Right, Putting it Right and Making sure things work.

The Report of its findings indicates that Haringey has made

considerable improvements in many areas, particularly in re-designing

processes to improve performance. Quality improvements have been less

dramatic and the Report recommends that Haringey should now focus on

these areas to make further gains in the effectiveness and security

of its service.

The speed of processing new claims was found to be very good but

weaknesses in verifying evidence were identified and a similar

pattern was found with renewal claims. Haringey's counter-fraud

efforts are meeting with some success but further work is needed in

controlling and recovering over-payments. The borough had over£15m benefit over-payment debt which at the time of the

inspectors' visit was continuing to rise. There was evidence that

serious efforts were being made to recover this and the Report's

recommendations will strengthen these.

The BFI is an independent unit within the

department for work and pensions that reports directly to the

secretary of state for work and pensions on the standard of benefit

administration and counter fraud activity.

It works to help councils improve efficiency and deter, prevent,

detect and investigate fraud by strengthening the security of the

delivery of benefits. Its Report includes recommendations of good

practice and Haringey LBC will be able to make use

of these to address the weaknesses identified.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.