Fraud and Compliance
The Government will provide $113.8 million over three years to strengthen and expand activities aimed at preventing, detecting and reducing social welfare fraud and incorrect payment of benefits. This can occur for instance, where a person obtains employment but fails, unintentionally or deliberately, to inform Centrelink, resulting in overpayment of benefits. Overall, the package of initiatives will deliver net savings of $269.4 million over three years.
In addition to a range of targeted initiatives, the package includes the establishment of a working group of officials to develop a more strategic approach to managing fraud and compliance efforts across health and social welfare payments. The new strategic approach seeks to better coordinate and maximise the effectiveness of existing activities and involves the development of performance measurements for each major payment, integration of compliance activity and strategies to improve the accuracy of payments.
All previously agreed fraud and compliance measures, and most of the related measures in the 2007-08 Budget, will lapse on 30 June 2010. The measures will be reviewed to assess their ongoing cost-effectiveness in light of the adoption of a more strategic approach to addressing fraud and non-compliance.