§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many special investigations into social service frauds are at present occurring in Wales; how many special investigators are to be appointed in Wales; and what is the anticipated cost of employing these investigators and the anticipated saving in employing them.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The number of DHSS special investigators at present employed in Wales is 27. It is expected that this number will shortly be increased, as part of the measures arising from the Government's declared intention to devote more resources to tackling fraud, but the number has not yet been decided. The estimated cost of employing a special investigator is £9,000 per annum; the anticipated saving is substantial—several times the staff cost involved.