back to article Councils get online arsenal to battle billion-pound bloodsuckers

Local authorities will be able to use a set of online products to help them fight housing tenancy, council tax and blue badge parking frauds, under new government guidelines. The tools have been created as part of the "Fighting fraud locally" strategy. The strategy was the result of an eight-month review led by the National …

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Coat

29 Questions...

I'm sure we can guess these fairly easily...

1) Have you outsourced anything lately?

2) Does anyone have a clean moat or duck island?

3) ...

It's got the expenses claim form in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

then they

Will ask for the power to enter any property on a whim...

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FAIL

Fraudsters must be quaking in their boots

Councils now have a new checklist, an e-training course and resilience check in their arsenal.

I'm sure fraud levels will plummet...

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Silver badge

NFA

And how much does the NFA cost us a year?

IIt's a quango and therefore by my own personal definition probably a government sanctioned fraud in its own right?

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Joke

Local authorities will be able to use a set of online products....

Ha,ha,ha, "will be able"!

splurt

bruhahaha "use"!

gigglegiggle choke coughcough

hurhurhur

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FAIL

er...

What happens when your local council themselves, are the "billion pound bloodsuckers"?

– 'fact-finding' missions abroad [always somewhere sunny, natch]

–traffic camera [AKA "Council Cashpoint"] on every lamp-post

– Council Tax increasing every year, while services disappear

– jobs for the boys

– hurrah! trebles all round!

</ul>

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Bronze badge
Happy

Re: er...

"– Council Tax increasing every year, while services disappear"

Time to get a different government I think - up here in Scotland the gov have realised what a total con the council tax is, and has managed to blackmail of the local councils into freezing the council tax for several years now.

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Big Brother

YAY

YAY - More power to a group of employee's who are not getting payrises and reduced pensions etc - this will pan out well for privacy.

Why Oh why this is not done and treated as we do the Police - Police cant work in the area they live. Why not have the councils audit/check for fraud in another borough. This removes alot of issues of corruption, and indeed makes it competitive to track the fraud as long as not having it happen in the first place. Say have every fraud recovered the finding council get a 50% cut (prevents the orginating council not giving a shit and incentivices the council to not have any in the first place). Also any false frauds flagged up will result in the flagging council paying the flagged council 100% of the flagged fraud value - thus preventing over-zelous attitudes.

Remember detecting fraud and preventing it are TWO seperate area's and in that respect are dealt with defferently.

So in summary, will keep news papers in print for a while longer with stories of abuse and will only highlight the need to have councils working in compertition in area's were they have a complete and abusable monoply with the transparancy of stained-glass - but that is just my public perception about them as it does appear to be many others. Indicative of something perhaps not being totaly right as some would diplomaticly say.

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T J

Re: YAY

Aye, Seconded.

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Unhappy

"online products"?

So they can snoop on anybody when they feel like it - is that what the article means? The privacy argument is all fine and well but what about business confidentiality, say for example a UK Council started moving money about before events like the Iceland Bank problems? They should maybe take a step back and think this through again? ie Fuck Off

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Thumb Down

All this is...

A pure buck passing exercise onto overstretched council budgets.

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If you go to the original report

Nice PDF that looks a little scary on the Guardian . £900 million in Housing tenancy fraud, I suspect that is a low because they are probably not using proper rents.

£14 billion in tax FRAUD (not avoidance) seems low as well.

Surprised mortgage fraud is so high. Its a fairly big transaction with hopefully identifiable participants. Extra work needed.

Until they turn it into an inspection with consequences I suspect not much will happen.

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Gold badge
Joke

"National Fraud Authority?"

You mean the UK has an "authority" to help people commit fraud *better*?

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Bronze badge

Rent fraud and punishment

A common issue I had to deal with was the rent being paid to the tenant to give to the landlord, (under current rules this is the established norm). The tenant would not pay the rent, the landlords could sometimes by the time it had run through all the procedures be 4-5 months behind on rent.

Once discovered all that happened was the tenant moved out / or had already done a midnight flit, the Landlord was left to recover the money from the tenant (near impossible), and the tenant well they went unpunished, in fact they could immediately apply for housing benfit again. Some people did this quite consitently.

No action was ever taken against them in the year and a half or so that I worked in the benefits office, they didnt even adjust their income levels with the rent they pocketed for their claims.

Likewise overpayment frauds, and other benefit frauds were often treated with mild indifference and if they were made to be paid back then since the person was usually on benefits then the payment amount is fixed and works out somewhere in the region of a £3- 5 max. (That would be you repaying two frauds back btw).

You want to stop fraud easy punish them, if thats the only treatment you are going to get for defrauding the system then what do you expect?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rent fraud and punishment

Well, given I have personaly twice been in a position were the Lanlord took the rent, didn;t pay there mortgage and hid the letter about reposession and found myself homless upon return from work. I think lanlords can go whistle dixxy. They could also charge fair rent and sod me respect the law which legaly and fully entitles them to get there property back and any money owed but no they are lazy and somehow expect councils to do it for them!!!!!

Yes councils should be tighter on rent, they should also tell alot of lanlords to go F off more than they do.

I do feel sorry for the legit ones but sadly they are very very few.

Bottom line lanlords commit more fraud than tennats do.

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Bronze badge

Re: Rent fraud and punishment

It is now illegal for housing benefit to be paid directly to a non-social landlord. As it should be. After all, the landlord has a contract with the TENANT not the housing benefit department.

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Paris Hilton

In my rather limited experience the biggest fraudsters tend to be local governments themselves.

It is not so much of a "let's defraud them now dude!" approach but a more sinister, wider-spread point of view that makes the first assessment "what is in it for me" and second assessment "how can I make the most of this opportunity for me" leaving the service user out of the loop completely.

I suspect it is a cascade phenomena percolating from the top down.

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Holmes

You forgot

the 'how can I stich up my neighbour whose cat crapped on my garden furniture?' angle.

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