The online survey asked civil servants the question: “Do you believe incentives to tackle fraud and error would be improved if HM Treasury allowed departments and agencies to retain a portion of the money saved?” It found that 73 per cent of all civil servants agree, while 13 per cent disagree and 14 per cent said they don’t know. Among senior civil service and grades 6 and 7, 74 per cent agree, 15 per cent disagree, and 11 per cent are unsure.
Within the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC, respondents offered similar opinions, with 73 per cent in each department answering in the affirmative.
John Farrelly, head of the Counter Fraud Centre of Excellence at SAS, told CSW that in many public sector organisations, “one of the big drivers for tackling fraud, error and debt is that you can free up money for other things. If the money just goes back into the centre, and isn’t accessible for agencies, then that’s going to be a big negative for them.”
The poll also found that 73 per cent of civil servants have not received any specific training in tackling fraud and error. The government’s Fraud and Error Strategy, published earlier this month, said that all civil servants will have to undertake an online counter-fraud training course by April 2013. However, the strategy was silent on the sharing of fraud and error savings.
The online CSW survey received responses from 837 civil servants, and closed in January.
See also: Fraud strategy makes spend-recovery audits compulsory