HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 c858W
Ann McKechin

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the next programme of inspections for the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate. [69184]

Malcolm Wicks

The Benefit Fraud Inspectorate's (BFI) latest programme of activity includes inspections of both central and local government.

The local authority inspections will focus on various aspects of benefits administration and counter fraud performance in the following local authorities:

  • Crawley district council
  • Barnsley metropolitan council
  • Basingstoke and Deane district council
  • Waveney district council
  • Castle Morpeth district council
  • East Renfrewshire council.

This is the first programme of inspections following the publication of the "Performance Standards for Housing Benefits" in March 2002. The BFI inspections will consider, among other things, the progress councils have made in assessing their own performance against the standards.

BFI will also inspect a number of councils to test compliance against the Race Relations Amendment Act 2001 in the area of benefits administration.

BFI will be writing to Chief Executives with more details in the coming week.

BFI will also be undertaking an inspection of Jobcentre Plus to establish how the new organisation is taking forward the recommendations made in the BFI report on the Benefits Agency's relationship with local authorities, published in September 2001.

Alongside these inspections, BFI will continue to contribute to the comprehensive performance assessments of local authorities.

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