The report on Leicester concludes that the authority provides a good quality benefit service with many good practices in place; has made determined efforts to deter and prevent fraud and has very effective liaison with the local Benefits Agency.
The inspectorate also make some recommendations where it considers further improvements could be made.
The report on Ipswich finds that the authority has good administrative performance, but that there is room for improvement in its counter-fraud work. Again, the BFI makes recommendations where it considers improvements could be made.
The government is committed to securing the social security system against fraud. The BFI is establishing itself as a force to help this process and is playing an active role through its programme of inspections.
The BFI carries out its inspections of end to end processes in partnership with agencies and local authorities. By operating across these organisational boundaries it has a unique role in driving up standards.
Through its recommendations, improvements can be identified to safeguard current systems and inform design for the future.
1 The BFI is an independent unit within the Department of Social Security set up to inspect social security benefits administration and counter-fraud activity within DSS Agencies and local authorities, to report to the secretary of state; and to promote good practice.
2 Each inspection report is considered by the secretary of state who decides whether any further action is appropriate. The secretary of state has powers to issue directions to a local authority to secure acceptable/minimum standards in performance.