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Volume 281: debated on Wednesday 17 July 1996

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To ask the Attorney-General what inquiries he has undertaken to detect fraud by cross-checking his Department's payroll with details of those claiming benefit when these exercises took place, and how many staff were (a) suspended, (b) dismissed and (c) prosecuted as a result. [37716]

The departments and agencies for which I am responsible conduct checks to ensure that payments are made only to staff currently entitled to be on the payroll. Those departments and agencies do not hold information about individuals claiming benefit and therefore are not in a position to conduct inquiries into benefit fraud. However, they respond to inquiries made by the Benefits Agency where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that an individual may be involved in benefit fraud.