- The Public Sector Fraud Authority has exceeded its £180m target, saving taxpayers £311 million in its first year
- The savings come from counter fraud schemes designed to prevent, identify, and recover fraud in the public sector
- Baroness Neville-Rolfe revealed the “big win for taxpayers” at a meeting of the International Public Sector Fraud Forum, held in London
The Public Sector Fraud Authority saved taxpayers £311 million in its first year of operation, according to figures revealed by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for the Cabinet Office, at a meeting of the International Public Sector Fraud Forum this week. The figure far exceeds the original savings target of £180 million set when the authority launched last year.
The £311 million figure is made up of a variety of projects led by the Public Sector Fraud Authority that help public sector organisations prevent, identify, and recover public money lost to fraud, including:
- the use of advanced artificial intelligence and data analytics through partnerships with leading private sector businesses, such as the tech unicorn Quantexa;
- the National Fraud Initiative, which is an exercise that works with more than 1000 public bodies to compare sets of data against other records to identify discrepancies that may be evidence of fraud;
- and counter fraud flags, which refers to instances when we share intelligence with lenders to help them recover stolen money.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the creation of the Public Sector Fraud Authority while serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2022. Following intensive joint working between the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, the authority launched just five months later in August 2022.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe revealed how much the new authority had saved during its first year at a meeting of the International Public Sector Fraud Forum, which was hosted by the UK Government this week at venues across London. The figure will be officially published shortly in the Public Sector Fraud Authority’s first annual report.
The International Public Sector Fraud Forum was first convened by the UK Government in 2018. It aims to share best practice to help combat public sector fraud in the Five Eyes – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The UK Government has hosted an in person meeting of the International Public Sector Fraud Forum four times. The recent meeting marked the first since the pandemic and was attended by delegates from government agencies and law enforcement across the Five Eyes.
Approximately 70 delegates, made up of international experts and domestic counter fraud professionals from across the public sector, attended a keynote address by Baroness Neville-Rolfe at the Imperial War Museum on Thursday.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Minister for the Cabinet Office:
The £311 million saving is a big win for taxpayers. It shows the Public Sector Fraud Authority is delivering its mission to transform the way we fight fraud. Every pound stolen by fraudsters is one pound less spent on schools, hospitals, and other vital public services.
It was fitting to reveal the achievement at a meeting of the International Public Sector Fraud Forum. The Five Eyes has a proud history of working together to tackle big challenges and fraud is no exception. Led by the UK Government and the Public Sector Fraud Authority, our allies are setting the gold standard in the field of counter fraud.
Mark Cheeseman OBE, Chief Executive of the Public Sector Fraud Authority:
The Public Sector Fraud Authority was created to take action on fraud, and our results in our first year show our commitment to that. The close relationship we have with our international partners has been integral to this. Together we can have a bigger impact on those who attack our public services for their own gain.