Birmingham Council Throws Data Warehouse At Fraudsters

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Birmingham City Council has used data matching technology to catch £6.8m of false tax discounts

Birmingham City Council said on Tuesday it has used a system for collating data across the authority’s various systems to uncover £6.8 million of incorrectly or fraudulently claimed Single Person Council Tax discounts.

Council officers used the authority’s “data warehouse” to carry out data matching exercises across different systems to uncover the debt, as well as awarding a total of £1.2m in extra benefits in the process.

‘Fraud-free city’

The council has collected £3.6m of the net debt, and is “actively pursuing” the rest, according to a report presented to the finance overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday by counsellor Randal Brew, cabinet member of finance.

“Through effective use of technology and the information we have at our disposal, we are making great strides forward in our effort to protect the public purse,” Brew said in a statement. “These figures show we are making a difference and I am committed to ensuring we do everything we can to make Birmingham a fraud-free city.”

The city’s employees are taking an active part in this push against fraud, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which said this week that Birmingham was the source of 15 percent of all of BSA’s reports of software piracy in the UK last year.

Almost two-thirds of workers in the Midlands would blow the whistle on their bosses for improper business practices, according to a YouGov poll carried out for BSA.

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