CLGFraud ‘robs’ the needy of essential services - A new 10-point counter-fraud blueprint for tackling criminals & dishonest people who are costing the country £bns in fraudulent local government claims has been published by Communities and Local Government, Secretary Eric Pickles (see press release for blueprint).

According to the National Fraud Authority Annual Fraud Indicator, Local government could be saving taxpayers £2.1bn a year.  Money currently lost to fraud & error costs every household in England almost £100 a year.  Housing tenancy fraud is now one of the most significant frauds affecting the country's economy - temporary accommodation for homeless families costs councils nearly £1bn a year, an average of £18,000 for each family.

The Government's Counter Fraud Task Force was launched last year to develop a new strategic approach to tackling fraud across the public sector with a focus on prevention.  It will report in May 2011.
Press release & links ~ The Guide to tackling housing tenancy fraud ~ National Fraud Authority ~ National Fraud Authority Annual Fraud Indicator ~ Related PAC PR ~ AC: Protecting the Public Purse ~ Other AC Fraud links ~ SFO – Public Sector Fraud ~ NAO: Fraud Prevention ~ NAO Fraud links ~ MPs publish report on reducing errors in the benefits system ~ Counter Fraud Champions to help crackdown on fraud ~ Report a fraud - Action Fraud ~ OS press release ~ Total frauds in Britain in 2008 and 2009 ~ ID frauds in Britain in 2008 and 2009 ~ Ordnance Survey’s Use OS OpenData  - Seminar papers ~ NAO: Minimising the cost of administrative errors in the benefit system ~ CBI comment ~ National Fraud Initiative ~ NHS Counter Fraud Service ~ Local Authority Investigation Officers Group (LAIOG) ~ Local Government Fraud Manual ~ CLG: Social Housing Fraud Communications Toolkit ~ Tackling unlawful subletting and occupancy: Good practice guidance for social landlords ~ DWP - Benefit Fraud Inspectorate ~ International benchmark of fraud and error in social security systems ~ Department for Work and Pensions DWP : Targeting Benefit Thieves ~ UK Benefit Fraud in Spain ~ Insurance Fraud Investigators Group (IFIG) ~ Future of local public audit: Consultation (closes 30 June 2011) ~ Fraud Advisory Panel ~ Fraudweb ~ National Anti-Fraud Network

Newswire - ICOYou might be able to ‘demand it’ from clients, but you will also now ‘pay for it’ if you are careless with it - A new statutory code of practice designed to 'help businesses & public sector bodies share people’s personal information appropriately' has been published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  The data sharing code of practice covers both routine & one-off instances of data sharing.

It includes good practice advice that will be helpful to all organisations that share personal information – for example when local authorities share information with the health service or when building societies provide information to a credit reference agency.  The code gives advice on when & how personal information can be shared as well as how to keep it secure.
Press release & links ~ Parliamentary Ombudsman criticises government agencies for data sharing blame game ~ CESG: HMG IA Maturity Mode portal page ~ Data Handling Review ~ Managing Information Risk – A Guide for Accounting Officers, Board members and SIROs ~ Good Practice Guide: the internal audit role in information assurance (February 2009) ~ JISC Infonet: What is currently driving Shared Service initiatives? ~ HMG Security Policy Framework ~ The right information, in the right place, at the right time: A study of how healthcare organisations manage personal data ~ Making a difference: Safe and secure data sharing between health and adult social care staff ~ Information Governance ~ MoJ: Data sharing protocol ~ 2010 Information Security Breaches Survey (ISBS) ~ Information Security - BIS ~ Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) ~ Information Security Awareness Forum ~ GetSafeOnline ~ Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC) ~ Jericho Forum ~ Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) ~ Information Security Forum (ISF) ~ Socitm – Information Assurance ~ Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) ~ JRF: Database State - a comprehensive map of UK government databases ~ Advanced Information Assurance Handbook (VLF 10Mb) ~ ICO fines former ACS Law boss for lax IT security Fine could have been £200,000 if firm was still trading ~ A survey has revealed that 80% of people are concerned about protecting their personal information online, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said today ~ ICO - Councillors urged to check their data protection obligations ~ ICO - Council caught out after loss of memory stick ~ ICO - First monetary penalties served for serious data protection breaches

COApart from the technical issues there is the problem of how it will accessed by the ‘digitally excluded’ - The Coalition Government has launched an early prototype of a potential single government web domain, aimed at making public services easier to use.  The prototype single domain, named alphagov, was recommended by Martha Lane Fox in her review of government digital services published last year.

Prototypes are a normal way that large organisations, such as the BBC, test their web services, but this has never before been done in Government.  Alphagov is available on line for comment for 2 months and aims to provide a single place for all central government department information.

In the long run it will include a whole range of government services such as tax return and car tax applications.  The prototype currently just contains answers to the top 100 most frequently asked questions in government such as what to do if you lose your passport.  By moving departmental website information into one place, the Government anticipates that it would save over 50% of the £130m it spends on internet publishing each year.
Press release ~ Directgov 2010 and Beyond: Revolution Not Evolution ~ Alpha.gov.uk ~ IFS: How much does a government website cost? ~ Clamp down on Government websites to save £ms ~ A fifth of those aged 55-64 have never been online. This rises to three in five among those aged 65 and over

ESRC:  It is not as hopeless as one may think to help the homeless - Resettlement services over the last few years have helped many homeless people make positive changes in their lives.  The largest study in the UK of the resettlement of single homeless people has found that 81% of a large representative sample were still living independently 18 months after being re-housed. 

The research indicated that most people in the study were glad to have moved, were optimistic about the future, and were rebuilding their lives.  Some had started jobs or training courses, and several had renewed contact with their family or children or built new friendships. 
Press release & links ~ ‘Worrying times ahead’ for homeless in England ~ 4 facts, 4 questions about the future of Supporting People ~ The Escape Plan ~ "The homeless who slide down rubbish chute to their beds..." ~ www.150voices.com ~ Providence Row ~ Homeless Pages ~ Homeless Link ~ CRASH ~ Crisis ~ London Housing Strategy ~ 2010 manifesto to end homelessness ~ Move on ~ Barnardo's Moving On Project ~ Homeless Uk – Moving On

Newswire – LCBut how will it be funded? - The Law Commission's latest report on Adult Social care makes 'recommendations for a single, clear, modern statute and code of practice that would pave the way for a coherent social care system.' 

Under the reforms proposed in the report, older people, disabled people, those with mental health problems and carers will, for the first time, be clear about their legal rights to care & support services.  Local councils across England and Wales will have clear and concise rules to govern when they must provide services.
Press release & links

Forthcoming event: Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit | 16 - 17 June 2011| London - Cloud, SOA, Agile and Applications Overhaul: A Modern Applications Strategy - As an application leader within Government and Public Sector you face many challenges. As cost is a major ongoing consideration, a relentless focus is required to determine what trends to embrace, what technologies to invest in and what deployment models to adopt. Cloud, web, mobile and social trends will have a major impact on governments and public sector institutions and the implications for overall application architectures will be significant.

The upcoming Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, 16 – 17 June 2011 in London, UK, is the must-attend event for application leaders who want to learn about the critical building blocks of a successful applications strategy: Cloud, SOA, Agile development and Applications Overhaul.

Click here View the full agenda and to register.

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