HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1150-1W
Mr. Sproat

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the channels whereby Post Office officials are able to make complaints about suspected abuses of social security benefits.

Mr. Orme

The Post Office, as agents for my Department, cash giro cheques and other instruments by which social security benefits are paid. It is their responsibility to identify, and prevent the encashment of, fraudulent or forged instruments of payment and I should like to acknowledge the good work they do in this field; the channels of communication for this purpose work well. It is not the function of the Post Office to question the entitlement to benefit of social security claimants but, in the course of my Department's review of anti-fraud measures the Post Office will be consulted to see whether there is any further help that it could provide in our fight against social security fraud.

Mr. Brotherton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are being taken to ensure that staff at the Toxteth Area Office, the Bootle Area Office, the West Derby Area Office and the Wallasey Integrated Local Office are being more vigilant to detecting abuse of social security benefits following the case of Mr. Derek Deevy.

Mr. Orme

The case of Mr Derek Deevy is being examined in detail, and the lessons to be learned from it will be taken into account in the course of the wide ranging review being undertaken into the Department's procedures to prevent and detect fraudulent claims; a review which I had set in train before the Deevy case came to light.