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Public And Private Sectors To Share More Customer Data In Fraud Clampdown

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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The government is expected to announce plans for more efficient data sharing to prevent £21 billion fraud each year

The government is set to announce a new system which will allow more information between claimants and customers to be shared between the public sector and private firms in an effort to reduce fraud.

Successful scams cost the public sector more than £21 billion each year, or £350 for every person in Britain.

Efficient data sharing

The new system will mean all claims for state funds or applications for mortgages and bank loans will be pre-checked by 2015. Pilot schemes such as those which have used Scotland Yard’s record of known false addresses have proven successful in preventing fraud.

The Cabinet Office said that a recent exercise to compare the police’s false ID information with public sector records had identified 429 matches to housing benefit claimants.

“Sharing data and creating this checking service will mean that the Government can adopt a ‘check first, then pay’ approach,” commented minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, who added that more efficient sharing of data would make a “dramatic difference” to the speed and accuracy of detecting fraud.

“Today, we have access to huge volumes of digital data on claimants and customers, and if managed effectively this puts the public sector and private firms in a very strong position,” said Bert Oosterhof, EMEA director of technology at Informatica.

“In order to combat identity fraud, there needs to be a structure in place which joins all of this data together, ensuring that all identity related data can be searched, located and matched, including the matching of name variations when dealing with multilingual data,” he added. “With innovative data management technology, we will not only see a major clampdown on fraudsters but also major improvements in transparency across public sector organisations and private firms.”

Cyber crime is estimated to cost the UK £27 billion a year and Maude has also injected £10m into an ID scheme which allows users to authenticate themselves and access government services more easily. The government has also promised to deliver £1.4 billion in savings on Government IT, while at the same time offering better public services online.