Big data solutions could help UK public sector tackle £20bn lost through fraud, claims report

A new report form global BI software company SAS claims that the UK public sector needs to harness the power of big data to tackle the £20.6 billion per year financial losses that are occurring through fraud.

The figure is equivalent to over a third of total spending by the Department for Education, but the company claims that big data analytics could help combat this.

SAS has already worked with the Belgian government to combat ‘carousel fraud’ VAT theft networks, helping it to reduce fraud lossed by almist 98 per cent, saving nearly €1 billion per year.

The company has also already worked with HMRC to reduce fraud losses by £7 billion and the Department for Work and Pensions by £100 million.

Michael Levi, Professor of Criminology at Cardiff University and a specialist in the field of financial fraud and financial crime, commented:

“There is no point in hoping that fraud problems will go away with digitisation.’This report correctly highlights the need for better data analytics and integration, and its case studies point some ways forward to managing these problems down.  Whether we like it or not, such fraud management is a permanent feature of the landscape, in the public sector as well as the private sector.

“But enhancing the accuracy of risk assessments and optimising interventions by administrative control as well as by strategic use of criminal law, are a necessary prelude to maintaining both the affordability and legitimacy of government.”


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