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Public Sector Fraud

Volume 737: debated on Thursday 7 September 2023

I am delighted that, in its first year of operation, the Public Sector Fraud Authority is expected to surpass its initial targets, as part of the overall £3 billion recovery of fraud over the last two years referred to by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. More widely, the Government have invested £1 billion in fraud and error reduction since 2022, and we continue to be recognised as a world leader in combating public sector fraud.

We know that whistleblowers are responsible for uncovering almost half of all fraud—fraud that costs the public sector an estimated £40 billion a year—yet our laws to protect and support them are not working. If we want to tackle public sector fraud, we need to encourage more people to come forward. Will my right hon. Friend agree to meet me to discuss how we can better support whistleblowers and tackle this vast expense to the public purse?

I am very happy to meet my hon. Friend, or one of my ministerial colleagues will. I can reassure her that we do wish to support whistleblowers. It is important that they are supported in doing what they do. We certainly respect and are grateful for information shared by whistleblowers. It is just part of the system, though, and it is important that we continue to use AI to ensure that we can track down fraud across the public sector.