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Niall Hearty discusses the DWP's fraud savings achievement

Author: Niall Hearty  21 May 2024

Posted in : Business Crime Defence .

With the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announcing it exceeded its counter-fraud savings target for 2023-24, Rahman Ravelli Partner Niall Hearty wrote an article for Fraud Intelligence on this development. The DWP's 2022 Fraud Plan aimed for £1.3 billion in savings, and it reported £1.35 billion—£50 million above the target.

Niall Hearty acknowledged the achievement, stating, "Meeting any set target is a commendable milestone. The DWP's success in surpassing its savings goal warrants recognition." However, he tempered this praise, noting, "The target itself was set by the DWP, a government department. Thus, while noteworthy, it reflects a target they essentially defined."

Hearty highlighted broader concerns, including the DWP's report of £8.3 billion in welfare benefit overpayments last year, with 75% attributed to fraud. "DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield has admitted that fraud levels are expected to exceed those of 2019-20 by 2027-28," Hearty noted. He expressed caution about the department's reliance on external help and new technology, indicating systemic issues within the DWP's existing framework.

He concluded, "While meeting targets and implementing new measures is positive, genuine progress requires consistent recovery of billions year on year. Only then can the DWP claim substantial success in combating fraud."

The full article can be read here (subscription required).

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Niall Hearty

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niall.hearty@rahmanravelli.co.uk
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Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.

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