9 June 2011 | Lindsay Clark
The UK government believes it could save £264 million lost in overpayments
to suppliers if a pilot scheme is rolled out across Whitehall.
report released by the Cabinet Office said that
the Department for Transport (DfT) had
saved £500,000 by identifying losses from payments made to suppliers. The DfT
commissioned a data analytics company to undertake an audit of their group
procure-to-pay systems to detect and recover overpayments.
Home Office undertook the same exercise and detected £4 million in
overpayments. “With government spending £66 billion on procurement in 2009/10,
applying these techniques across all departments could identify and recover £264
million on just one year of spending,” said the interim report from the Cabinet
Office Counter Fraud Taskforce.
data analytics company is working to recover the DfT overpayments on a
payment-by-results basis, the Cabinet Office said. It expects to identify and
recover up to £8 million once it has analysed six years of payments to
suppliers made from across the entire DfT family.
Cabinet Office report drew from the AnnualFraud Indicator 2011, published
by the National Fraud Authority, which
showed procurement fraud in central government reached £1.5 billion. Across
local government the figure was £855 million.
Office minister Francis Maude said: “We will no longer allow a culture of
ignoring or accepting fraud. It is time to turn the tide on fraudsters and stop
government being seen as a soft touch by criminals. Every pound defrauded from
the government means that there is less to spend on frontline services like
healthcare, education, policing and defence.
taskforce has made a good start and has already demonstrated that immediate
cashable savings can be made from doing fairly simple common sense checks.
Going forward we must take this further and work together to combat fraud
across all public sector organisations,” Maude said.