Councils turn to data in attempt to cut fraud and errors

A further six councils have signed up to a fraud and error reviews data service, which is expected to help the councils identify over £1m worth of efficiencies.

The six councils, which include Burnley Council, Redcar and Cleveland Council and Boston Council, will now be able to more accurately identify fraud and error in Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit claims using sophisticated data matching technology.

Delivered as a fully managed service, the CapacityGrid service works by matching data that is live at the point of review, a technique that identifies where errors may be present, reducing the guesswork and avoidable contact.

CapacityGrid then undertakes a full end-to-end intervention on cases where it is identified that error may be present. At the point of decision all evidence is provided electronically so councils have a complete and auditable record of everything that has been done.

CapacityGrid recently revealed that it is on track to achieve £2.5m of Council Tax reduction and housing benefit fraud and error savings by June 2016 for a consortium of 12 local authorities, highlighting how the use of technology and data analytics gives councils a new approach to tackle fraud and error in the system.

The service has access to 25 external data sources through its strategic partner GBGroup (GBG).

Vijay Chandiramani, COO, CapacityGrid, said: “The problem of fraud and error in both the council tax and benefits system remains a serious concern for all local authorities. Our Fraud & Error Reviews Service has demonstrated that a joined up approach to data and process automation allows for more accurate fraud and error identification. So it is encouraging to see more and more councils signing up to our service.”

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