Tax fraud detection saved £11m in six months – report

A £1 million system developed by Fujistsu for the UK government’s fraud task force saved nearly £11 million of taxpayers’ money in six months, according to a report released today by the Cabinet Office.

The Fraud and Error Assessment Tool (FEAST) is used by the task force, part of HM Revenue and Customs, to analyse tax credit applications for evidence of fraudulent claims.

“FEAST works by applying a set of dynamic risk criteria to every tax credit claim,” a spokesperson for HM Revenue and Customs told Information Age today. “Where those risk parameters are tripped, it automatically diverts the claim to an operator for intervention, allowing us to investigate and confirm the circumstances of the customer. Where these are found to be erroneous, we have the ability to change the information before the claim goes into payment or reject the claim where fraud is suspected.”

The Cabinet Office report said that HMRC now plans to roll FEAST out more widely, expecting to save £256 million over the next four years.

The task force, launched in December last year by Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has overseen eight pilot schemes aimed at reducing public sector fraud. Other pilots included an alert system which cross references government databases to alert individual departments to potential fraud, as well as a data mining operation which analysed referrals to the Tax Evasion Hotline.


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