The Department for Work and Pensions does not yet have enough evidence to demonstrate that its activities to reduce the cost of mistakes by customers have been value for money. Mistakes made by claimants in the information they provide to the Department, termed customer error, are difficult to detect, correct and prevent. The scale of overpayments and underpayments demonstrate a clear imperative for improvement. Mistakes made by customers are difficult for the Department to tackle because they often arise from a change in customers' circumstances, which customers may not realise they have to tell the Department about. Overpayments due to customer error, which are estimated at Ap1.1 billion in 2009-10, represent a substantial loss to the taxpayer. And underpayments, which were approximately Ap800 million in 2009-10, can cause hardship for the families affected. The establishment by the Department of the Fraud and Error Council shows a commitment to tackling fraud and error, but there is little evidence that sufficient attention has been paid to reducing losses due to customer mistakes. The Department launched a five year strategy for tackling error in January 2007 but there has been no discernible decrease between 2006-07 and 2009-10 in underpayments and overpayments due to customer error as a percentage of total benefits expenditure. The Department and its agencies do not yet have enough information to target initiatives effectively. Nor is there enough consistently measured data on the costs and benefits of interventions.Department for Work and Pensions Great Britain: National Audit Office. Part Two What the Department has done to understand and address customer error 2.1 The Departmenta#39;s 2007 strategy ... will move them towards greater compliance with the benefit rules, and this will improve our levels of customer servicea#39;.5 2.2 Thisanbsp;...
|Title||:||Reducing Losses in the Benefits System Caused by Customers' Mistakes|
|Author||:||Great Britain: National Audit Office|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2011-01-01|