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New ‘fraud squad’ will crack down on criminals who steal taxpayer money

A new £25 million central government taskforce that will enlist an elite team of experts to crack down on fraudsters who attempt to steal taxpayers’ cash will be operational by the summer.

New ‘fraud squad’ will crack down on criminals who steal taxpayer money
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The Chancellor has announced the new fraud squad, recruited from data analytics experts and leading economic crime investigators, will crack down on criminal gangs who rip off the taxpayer.

Operational in July and based in the Cabinet Office, the new £25 million “Public Sector Fraud Authority” will double funding for the government’s central counter fraud capacity.

The new body will recruit leading data analytics experts and economic crime investigators to recover money stolen from COVID support schemes and spot suspicious companies and people seeking government contracts. Counter-fraud experts will also mount mandatory inspections on Whitehall programmes to uncover vulnerabilities.

Recruitment for the chief executive of the Public Sector Fraud Authority will start in the coming weeks, with candidates picked from leading counter-fraud experts. The new CEO will answer directly to the Chancellor and the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.

The Chancellor is also set to launch the government’s plan for protecting the taxpayer to cut waste by slashing the government’s property bill, doubling the NHS efficiencies target, reducing non-frontline civil service headcount, as well as “quango” budgets and cracking down on fraud and error.

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