HC Deb 13 November 2001 vol 374 c700W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures he has taken to ensure that local authorities have implemented their action plans drawn up in response to reports by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate. [11816]

Malcolm Wicks

Shortly after the publication of a Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) report, the local authority concerned is invited to respond to the BFI's findings, giving its proposals for improvement. Where the response indicates that the actions the authority has already taken or plans to take to improve its performance are satisfactory, the Department monitors the performance of the authority through the management information they provide and their performance against Best Value performance indicators.

Where there are continuing concerns, authorities are asked to submit progress reports to ensure that their planned improvements are being implemented and achieved. If it is thought necessary to gain additional assurance that improvements have been implemented, the BFI may be asked to undertake a further inspection.