§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what resources have been allocated to each district, metropolitan and London borough authority for the detection and prevention of housing benefit fraud; what information his Department has on the number of fraud officers employed by each local authority responsible for housing benefit; and if he will list each local authority responsible for housing benefit according to the number of housing benefit fraud officers employed. 
§ Mr. Heald
Information is not held centrally in the format requested. Local authorities are responsible for the efficient payment of the benefits that they administer. It is for each of them to decide what resources to apply to the detection and prevention of housing benefit fraud, whether from the administration subsidy paid by this Department or from other sources. Local authorities can, however, earn additional subsidy for successful detection of fraud.891W
Information on the number of designated fraud officers employed by local authorities is currently being processed and should be available in January 1996 in the form of an estimate for total numbers for Great Britain as a whole. I will write to the hon. Member when the information becomes available.