View Full Version : Sheffield Council welcomes you to commit benefit fraud


Cpt7
29-11-2011, 16:07
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.

Fraud officers have been moved over to help out with the new claims (as have other officers from various departments).

The fraud team was significantly cut during the last budget cuts, which meant that very little fraud was actually investigated anyway, now nothing will even be considered.

So if you fancy a fiddler get on it, Sheffield Council doesnt care!!!

taxman
29-11-2011, 16:09
That must be really de-motivating for the staff. Similar has happened in HMRC before, allegations and third party information left on shelves gathering dust whilst staff were moved onto backlogs of day to day processing.

HeadingNorth
29-11-2011, 16:11
I wonder if they've announced it to the Council? Because I suspect that the Council might tell them that they're wrong, and that they will continue to investigate fraud.

Cpt7
29-11-2011, 16:31
I wonder if they've announced it to the Council? Because I suspect that the Council might tell them that they're wrong, and that they will continue to investigate fraud.

Nothing gets done without authorisation from the council !

LeMaquis
29-11-2011, 17:35
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.

Any benefit fraud could be worse if someone were to announce this move to the world.

Tradescanthia
29-11-2011, 17:44
Capita should be dismissed for not fulfilling their obligations, and so should the council............:loopy:

HeadingNorth
29-11-2011, 17:47
Capita should be dismissed for not fulfilling their obligations, and so should the council............:loopy:

We can dismiss the council - or at least, a third of it - in May.

Cpt7
29-11-2011, 20:13
Any benefit fraud could be worse if someone were to announce this move to the world.

Its hardly a big secret, every member of staff has been informed of the move, and thats alot of staff. Its no big secret that the council do not take fraud investigation seriously either previous to this move.

Bludragonfly
29-11-2011, 20:52
Surely fraud investigations is a requirement under their SCC contract - if not someone at SCC should be fired for not putting it in the contract

HeadingNorth
29-11-2011, 21:20
Surely fraud investigations is a requirement under their SCC contract

It probably is. But keeping up to date with new applications is probably also in their contract. If their budget does not afford for doing both, which part of the contract should they break?

strangerthe6
30-11-2011, 12:26
The Council will be aware of this, they make what they know are unpopular decisions but they can blame Capita.

strangerthe6
02-12-2011, 11:43
Any indication of how long this is to last? I wonder if it will become permanent in next years Budget cuts.

GrapeApe
02-12-2011, 12:13
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.

Fraud officers have been moved over to help out with the new claims (as have other officers from various departments).

The fraud team was significantly cut during the last budget cuts, which meant that very little fraud was actually investigated anyway, now nothing will even be considered.

So if you fancy a fiddler get on it, Sheffield Council doesnt care!!!

If Crapita did their job right in the first place, there wouldn't be any fraud to investigate. They are useless and everyone who works for SCC knows it.

Jeffrey Shaw
02-12-2011, 12:19
Odd, isn't it, that privatisation is supposedly OK when practised by The Sheffield City Council in favour of Capita, Kier, Veolia, etc?

Cyclone
02-12-2011, 12:24
It probably is. But keeping up to date with new applications is probably also in their contract. If their budget does not afford for doing both, which part of the contract should they break?

They shouldn't break their contract, and if they do there should be penalty clauses in place.
They should hire more staff to fulfil their obligations as that should be cheaper than the penalties for failing to honour it. At least if it's well drafted that's how it should be.

Cyclone
02-12-2011, 12:24
Odd, isn't it, that privatisation is supposedly OK when practised by The Sheffield City Council in favour of Capita, Kier, Veolia, etc?

Odd in what way? When is it supposedly not okay?

strangerthe6
02-12-2011, 14:01
They shouldn't break their contract, and if they do there should be penalty clauses in place.
They should hire more staff to fulfil their obligations as that should be cheaper than the penalties for failing to honour it. At least if it's well drafted that's how it should be.

It won't be Capitas decision, as original poster says, nothing is done without the Council saying so

Cyclone
02-12-2011, 14:04
If that's the case then you have to wonder what the actual contract says, for the council to have to instruct Crapita to move people from the Fraud department to keep up with claims indicates that the contract is for a fixed number of bodies and not written very well.

strangerthe6
02-12-2011, 14:05
If Crapita did their job right in the first place, there wouldn't be any fraud to investigate. They are useless and everyone who works for SCC knows it.

How can Capita be responsible for people committing Fraud???

Come next year they'll be getting more useless people from the Council as more services are being outsourced to them to save money. Hopefully you'll be one of them.

Confudler
02-12-2011, 14:09
Presumably to start committing such fraud requires that you submit a new claim, and fraud officers are now processing new claims. Therefore it's probably no easier to start committing the fraud, just easier to continue getting away with it?

Cyclone
02-12-2011, 14:34
Presumably to start committing such fraud requires that you submit a new claim, and fraud officers are now processing new claims. Therefore it's probably no easier to start committing the fraud, just easier to continue getting away with it?

Or your circumstances could change but you continue an existing claim.

chem1st
02-12-2011, 15:01
Pretty soon it will be realised it is cheaper, more efficient, more sensible and better for the average man's work ethic to just pay everyone benefits in the form of a basic income. You don't want to work, fair enough, your going to remain poor, if you do want to work, you will be rewarded.

Cpt7
02-12-2011, 15:22
If Crapita did their job right in the first place, there wouldn't be any fraud to investigate. They are useless and everyone who works for SCC knows it.


:huh: how could Capita doing their job right stop people commiting fraud??, and considering most people who work for Capita are previous SCC workers, that is a really stupid comment to make.

Titanic99
02-12-2011, 20:39
If that's the case then you have to wonder what the actual contract says, for the council to have to instruct Crapita to move people from the Fraud department to keep up with claims indicates that the contract is for a fixed number of bodies and not written very well.

Or the contract could have a clause on the caseload,which could well be exceeded given the current economic conditions and consequently they have to move bodies across in order to avoid paying more out to Capita.

It doesn't make the decision to withdraw Fraud Investigations right though.

Titanic99
02-12-2011, 20:40
:huh: how could Capita doing their job right stop people commiting fraud??, and considering most people who work for Capita are previous SCC workers, that is a really stupid comment to make.

Proper investigation of any anomalies at the point of receiving the claim would help, but time pressures to get claims on quickly make this difficult.

onewheeldave
02-12-2011, 23:15
Pretty soon it will be realised it is cheaper, more efficient, more sensible and better for the average man's work ethic to just pay everyone benefits in the form of a basic income. You don't want to work, fair enough, your going to remain poor, if you do want to work, you will be rewarded.

I agree totally.

HeadingNorth
02-12-2011, 23:49
They shouldn't break their contract, and if they do there should be penalty clauses in place.
They should hire more staff to fulfil their obligations as that should be cheaper than the penalties for failing to honour it. At least if it's well drafted that's how it should be.

I'm assuming that their contract says they're only allowed to spend X amount of money, and that hiring more bodies would exceed X - which would mean it's merely a matter of choosing how to break the contract, since keeping to it would be numerically impossible.

Another possibility, of course, is that the Council has simply ordered them to clear the backlog, and the quickest way to do it is to move everyone onto new claims until it's cleared. Whether that breaches the contract by suspending the investigation of fraud, I don't know - it should do.

Cyclone
03-12-2011, 09:07
It's not a very good contract if it details how the client is limited in meeting it's obligations.
It should have obligations, payment and penalty details, not internal implementation details.

Cyclone
03-12-2011, 09:08
Pretty soon it will be realised it is cheaper, more efficient, more sensible and better for the average man's work ethic to just pay everyone benefits in the form of a basic income. You don't want to work, fair enough, your going to remain poor, if you do want to work, you will be rewarded.

How would paying extra to about 25 million working people be cheaper?

There are what, 2 million unemployed out of 30 million working age adults... I can't see how multiplying the benefits bill by 10 to 15 times is in any way a saving.

Cpt7
03-12-2011, 12:03
Proper investigation of any anomalies at the point of receiving the claim would help, but time pressures to get claims on quickly make this difficult.

But anomalies at the point of receiving the claim are ignored, if fraud is suspected there is no one to investigate it, the claims have to be processed in a certain amount of time , this is on SCC s instructions, so its hardly the fault of the staff.

Cpt7
03-12-2011, 12:18
I'm assuming that their contract says they're only allowed to spend X amount of money, and that hiring more bodies would exceed X - which would mean it's merely a matter of choosing how to break the contract, since keeping to it would be numerically impossible.

Another possibility, of course, is that the Council has simply ordered them to clear the backlog, and the quickest way to do it is to move everyone onto new claims until it's cleared. Whether that breaches the contract by suspending the investigation of fraud, I don't know - it should do.

Capita are fined heavily if they dont achieve X amount of claims processed, hence services to the elderly, area offices, fraud are all being cut to avoid the fines.

A large amount of these claims are from Eastern Europeans settling in Sheffield, this is where SCC see's the priority, as every pound paid out in Council Tax benefit is a pound classed as collected in Council tax bills, SCC has to collect something like 99% Council tax, so the more benefit it pays out the less it has to collect. So when it comes to April it looks as though its achieved its target collection rate

i hope that makes sense:)

chem1st
03-12-2011, 14:15
How would paying extra to about 25 million working people be cheaper?

There are what, 2 million unemployed out of 30 million working age adults... I can't see how multiplying the benefits bill by 10 to 15 times is in any way a saving.

Consider how much is paid to unemployed people on benefits, consider how much is paid in benefits to people in work, consider how much this costs in administration.

Consider also the 'work disincentive' that derives from our mad system.

With everybody (*better) off working, consider the increased production and better living standards.

Seriously, just look at the numbers!

And consider how unproductive it is, to pay people to monitor the unemployed, means tested benefits are madness.
(*And what these currently non productive people could produce)

HeadingNorth
03-12-2011, 15:42
It's not a very good contract if it details how the client is limited in meeting it's obligations.
It should have obligations, payment and penalty details, not internal implementation details.

If it has payment details, then the problem I outlined above could well exist; unless you argue that Capita should bankrupt itself by spending more than it's going to get paid.

Jeffrey Shaw
03-12-2011, 21:42
Odd, isn't it, that privatisation is supposedly OK when practised by The Sheffield City Council in favour of Capita, Kier, Veolia, etc?

Odd in what way? When is it supposedly not okay?
It's odd because left-wing ideology (Labour/LD) is against the selfsame privatisation that SCC practises.

Cyclone
04-12-2011, 08:15
Labour isn't against privatisation in practice, look at their last stint in parliament.

Cyclone
04-12-2011, 08:16
If it has payment details, then the problem I outlined above could well exist; unless you argue that Capita should bankrupt itself by spending more than it's going to get paid.

That's the risk a supplier takes when bidding to provide a piece of work where the volume can fluctuate. I bet they don't get paid less if the economy booms and the amount they have to process under this contract falls.

Cyclone
04-12-2011, 08:17
Capita are fined heavily if they dont achieve X amount of claims processed, hence services to the elderly, area offices, fraud are all being cut to avoid the fines.

A large amount of these claims are from Eastern Europeans settling in Sheffield, this is where SCC see's the priority, as every pound paid out in Council Tax benefit is a pound classed as collected in Council tax bills, SCC has to collect something like 99% Council tax, so the more benefit it pays out the less it has to collect. So when it comes to April it looks as though its achieved its target collection rate

i hope that makes sense:)

Not really, and on many levels.

strangerthe6
04-12-2011, 11:36
That's the risk a supplier takes when bidding to provide a piece of work where the volume can fluctuate. I bet they don't get paid less if the economy booms and the amount they have to process under this contract falls.

I believe the amount they get does fall if the amount of claims drops below a certain level. Not likely to happen in the forseeable future.

Cpt7
04-12-2011, 13:18
Not really, and on many levels.

Its quite simple really, to generalise, SCC is more than happy to pay people benefits as it helps with targets set by the government, therefore other services are cut to help process these claims ie Fraud.

strangerthe6
05-12-2011, 13:10
Just read that there's a crackdown on fraudulent benefit claims. Obviously not in Sheffield though!

strangerthe6
13-12-2011, 12:07
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.

Fraud officers have been moved over to help out with the new claims (as have other officers from various departments).

The fraud team was significantly cut during the last budget cuts, which meant that very little fraud was actually investigated anyway, now nothing will even be considered.

So if you fancy a fiddler get on it, Sheffield Council doesnt care!!!

Has the Fraudline been discontinued now? It used to be on the back of buses encouraging people to report suspected fraudulent claims.

Longcol
13-12-2011, 12:49
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.


I assume this only applies to Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit and not say unemployment benefits.

Hadron
13-12-2011, 13:45
The administration of the system must be an immense task. Fraud detection must be seen to be increased not decreased. If there are not enough people to control the data then more people need to be employed or the system simplified.

Fraud detection could be rolled out on a commission basis like American bounty hunters.

Blue Moon
29-03-2012, 22:18
It's a complete nightmare. Statistics, statistics, statistics.

strangerthe6
19-05-2012, 11:29
Due to the backlog in proccesing claims Capita (whom work on behalf of Sheffield Council) have announced to staff that they will not be investigating ANY benefit fraud.

Fraud officers have been moved over to help out with the new claims (as have other officers from various departments).

The fraud team was significantly cut during the last budget cuts, which meant that very little fraud was actually investigated anyway, now nothing will even be considered.

So if you fancy a fiddler get on it, Sheffield Council doesnt care!!!

From the headlines of The Star ( 18/5/12) it appears a number of people have fancied a fiddle.

BarryRiley
19-05-2012, 11:49
From the headlines of The Star ( 18/5/12) it appears a number of people have fancied a fiddle.

Are you sure this was from 18th? I think it was from last year and is actually the article that the entire thread is based around if I'm not wrong

Rich
19-05-2012, 11:52
Yay! More opportunities to upset the Daily Mail readers! :hihi:

And no, I am NOT a fraudster and never will be.

millsands
19-05-2012, 12:55
Are you sure this was from 18th? I think it was from last year and is actually the article that the entire thread is based around if I'm not wrong

hi here is the link from the star on 18th may 2012

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/local/shock-rise-in-benefit-cheats-in-sheffield-1-4560120

Cpt7
19-05-2012, 17:20
Those figures are for 2010/11

Douglas J
20-05-2012, 11:39
Fraud detection could be rolled out on a commission basis like American bounty hunters.

it already is ... sort of. The subsidy rules give the council more money if they classify benefit overpayments as "fraud" rather than ordinary errors, whether by council or claimant. Many overpayments are classed as fraud even though there's no criminal proceedings. this of course gives the council a perverse incentive to classify overpayments falsely in order to get more money from central Government.

Hmmm ... fraud?

Douglas J
20-05-2012, 11:42
Capita are fined heavily if they dont achieve X amount of claims processed, hence services to the elderly, area offices, fraud are all being cut to avoid the fines.

A large amount of these claims are from Eastern Europeans settling in Sheffield, this is where SCC see's the priority, as every pound paid out in Council Tax benefit is a pound classed as collected in Council tax bills, SCC has to collect something like 99% Council tax, so the more benefit it pays out the less it has to collect. So when it comes to April it looks as though its achieved its target collection rate

i hope that makes sense:)

Makes sense apart from "A large amount of these claims are from Eastern Europeans " are you absolutely sure about this??