Callcredit to speak on the subject of benefit and tenancy fraud

Speaking at The Conservative Party Conference this week (9 October 2012) credit reference agency, Callcredit will take part in a discussion on the issues of investigating and tackling benefit and tenancy fraud.

Held at Birmingham's ICC, the 'Cutting the Cost of Fraud' fringe event aims to explore a range of areas including the progress made to date to tackle fraud both locally and nationally, what regulatory and legislative loopholes may still exist and what more can be done to disincentivise fraud, amongst several other topics.

With fraud and error in benefits payments costing the taxpayer £3.3b per year, and according to the National Fraud Authority, tenancy fraud costing £900m per year, it is clear that more needs to be done to tackle fraud. Industry expert, Andrew Davis, Callcredit's director of public sector will discuss how credit reference agencies can play an integral part in helping local authorities to prevent and tackle this type of fraud.

Other areas to be discussed include;

  • Regulatory and legislative barriers that exist which impact upon the work of Callcredit in this sector - in particular the devolution of Accredited Financial Investigation powers as well as thoughts on future working with the new Single Fraud Investigation Service; and
  • Opportunities for savings to the public purse arising from sufficiently funded fraud investigation teams. 

Andrew Davis, Director of Public Sector, Callcredit Information Group said: "Tenancy fraud is a widespread problem across all parts of the UK affecting both stock-holding and non-stock holding local authorities.  Stopping tenancy fraud helps vulnerable families and reduces benefit fraud.

"Tackling fraud is a fundamental part of putting finances back on an even keel and making sure that the tax payer's money is put to worthier causes.  With an estimated cost of fraud to local government a staggering £2.2 billion a year, better prevention, detection and recovery is needed to reduce the financial pressure on councils." 

As well as providing their support to a Private Members Bill on Social Housing Fraud the coalition government is making considerable movement in tackling fraud, creating an all-encompassing Universal Credit to replace the disjointed benefits system and a Single Fraud Investigation Service to coordinate investigation and enforcement.

The panellists for the 'finge' event include:   

  • Nicholas Hellen, Assistant Editor, Sunday Times (Chairman)
  • Lord Freud, Minister of State for Welfare Reform
  • Councillor Lindsey Hall, Lead Member for Fraud, Westminster City Council
  • Richard Harrington MP, Sponsor of Private Members Bill on Social Housing Fraud
  • John Baker, Director of Fraud Solutions, RSM Tenon

Callcredit is helping local authorities reduce the amount of benefit and tenancy fraud with a range of products to detect fraud amongst existing tenants, monitor existing tenants for change of circumstances and prevent fraudulent applications and allocations.