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Student Loans Company

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of theft and fraud at the Student Loans Company by (a) staff and (b) students in each of the last five years. (304956)

The cost of theft or fraud by staff at the Student Loans Company in each of the last five years is set out in the following table.

Financial year

Cost (£)

2009/10 (to date)

3,178

2008/09

0

2007/08

1,258

2006/07

0

2005/06

0

2004/05

0

Total

4,436

We do not have an estimate of the cost of student-related fraud for the last five years.

In 2005/06 academic year, the Student Loans Company made almost 800,000 payments of grants and loans. A review of identity fraud was conducted by the NHS counter-fraud and security management service, which found an estimated fraud rate of 0.6 per cent. of applications, representing approximately £8.2 million. As a result, a number of improvements have been made to help detect and prevent identity related fraud.

Subsequently, the company assessed the level of income related fraud from a sample of 2008/09 applications and found that the fraud and error rate was between 1 and 4 per cent. The study implies that it should be possible to detect and prevent fraudulent claims worth around £5million, and the company has introduced additional checks on applications made in the 2009/10 academic year.

The company aims to have simple and straightforward processes for students to apply for student support whilst at the same time remaining vigilant in detecting and preventing fraud.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether any employees of the Student Loans Company have been subject to disciplinary hearings in respect of allegations of theft or fraud in each of the last five years. (304959)

The number of Student Loans Company Ltd. employees who have been subject to disciplinary hearings in respect of allegations of theft or fraud is set out in the following table. I am advised that the hearing in 2005-06 resulted in one employee being dismissed while, prior to the other hearings taking place, the employees concerned resigned.

Financial year

Number of employees

2009-101

1

2008-09

0

2007-08

2

2006-07

1

2005-06

1

2004-05

0

1 To date

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people were employed by the Student Loans Company in each of the last three years. (307412)

The number of people employed by the Student Loans Company in each of the last three years is set out in the following table.

Financial year

Staff in post

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10 (to date)

Permanent staff

1,432

1,953

1,906

Fixed term temporary staff

21

32

72

Agency staff

15

1

16

Contractors

19

42

2

Dept/local authority secondment

1

1

1

Total

1,488

2,029

1,997

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was spent on the salaries of senior management staff at the Student Loans Company in each of the last three years. (307413)

The amount spent on the salaries of senior management staff at the Student Loans Company in each of the last three years is publicly available in the Student Loans Company’s Annual Report and Accounts. The Annual Report and Accounts for each year are available in the House of Commons Library and to download from the Student Loans Company website at:

http://www.slc.co.uk/about%20us/remit/annual_report.html