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Volume 129: debated on Friday 18 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total amount of money obtained by fraud from his Department's offices in the Bolton area during the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many cases this involved; and what action is being taken to prevent further occurrences.

It is not possible to ascertain the total amount of money obtained by fraud. In the year ended 9 February 1988 fraud staff in the Bolton area discovered overpayments of benefit amounting to £129,691. To prevent fraud, benefit procedures are kept under continual review and measures are adopted to combat fraud wherever possible.