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Voice recognition technology: a benefit?

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Use of voice recognition technology to crack down on benefit fraud is a new weapon in the local council armoury. Mark Chapman, Capita's director of local government services, says it is a mistake to see Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) as a type of lie detector.

"It's essential to ensure that those who need the benefits most receive them and that those who shouldn't don't," he believes.

"The use of VRA can help assess a claimants benefit over the phone and through changes in voice frequency of the caller provide feedback to the user. As a result it helps identify a genuine customer quickly, review whether they should be receiving any other additional benefits and fast track them.

"Simultaneously it can protect the authority from fraudulent claims as an alert will tell the user to look further into the case."

Mr Chapman says a number of local authorities using VRA have noted significant financial benefits.

For example, at Lambeth Council more than 200 people have been awarded an increase in benefits while the council has saved over£400,000 in fraudulent claims.

"In order to improve customer service and efficiency levels authorities should be considering new ways to be successful," says Mr Chapman.

"VRA is just one component of a much wider process but if councils can save money and provide benefits to the right people as well as investing further funding into better council services elsewhere, it should be considered."

Read the full article here.

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