Gareth Davies, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of the National Audit Office, has reported on the 2018-19 accounts of the Department for Work and Pensions. He has qualified his audit opinion because of the material level of fraud and error in benefit expenditure.

Department for Work and Pensions annual report and accounts 2018-19

Audit certificate and report (pages 164 to 181)

“The value of fraud and error in benefit spending is a longstanding and costly issue for the Department. I am concerned that this has reached its highest rate since the current estimation method was introduced, and that the Department expects overpayments to rise even further.

“I would like to see the Department make better use of its data to identify misreporting of benefit income and eradicate this cause of overpayments and underpayments. It should also work to understand the reasons for high fraud and error rates for Universal Credit, and explore how it can help PIP claimants provide accurate and timely information so that they are not underpaid their benefits.”

Gareth Davies, the Comptroller and Auditor General

Publication details

  • HC: 2281 2017-19

Press release

View press release (27 Jun 2019)

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