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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Government IT systems

If you are filling in an on-line form and you put in a wrong date of birth, then the system will usually pick it up and prevent you proceeding without correcting the data.

This simple idea is called "error trapping".

Other software processes will check that the cumulative data you have entered makes some kind of sense by testing the data against norms.

It is good to know that such simple ideas can help prevent fraud, or at least detect it quite quickly, as this story illustrates.

    A father-of-two has admitted fraudulently claiming almost £80,000 in benefits for 36 children.

    Irvin Fraser, 30, claimed child tax credits over three years from two addresses in Aberdeen.
Then he kind of blows his credibility by adding...
    Fraser said: "I was claiming child tax credit for my son and just added another name by chance.
That is just so easy to do. It's so common to hear people telling you about their family, and just adding one or two, or thirty-five extra children. All living in a very two-bedroom house.

Then the finger is pointed.
    "They never asked for any documents. It went on for two years and I got away with it. "I couldn't understand why they did not pick up on it. How could someone claim to have so many children but not be old enough to have them?"
How bloody stupid. Does he really, really think that the Inland Revenue have nothing better to do than undertake some kind of logic test on the information in front of them? Ludicrous. It must be normal enough to have twin, triplets, quads and quins interspersed with other children during the normal gestation period.

But seriously, how many others have done this and just not been prosecuted? Is this why online claims were stopped? Have the software providers been asked why their system didn't do simple checks? Or were they simply given the wrong specification, and provided what was asked for?

At least the national ID scheme (partially deceased) won't have these sort of stupid mistakes in the data base will it?


Anonymous said...

Try that when your applying for your sheep subsidy, see how far you get.

It's one law for them and another law for us. I may now register my ewes as unemployed, single mothers. I'll have a Range Rover in the drive by the end of August.

Anonymous said...

- one simple way would be to have special checks carried out on anyone claiming more than 18 children and occaisional spot checks for any one claiming more than eight!

Anonymous said...

the only prob i forsee with my idea above (1:36) is that someone would cry "racist" as coloured families were (i am actually not sure if they still are?!) producing bigger families! - Can anyone see any other problems with this sugestion?