Working together to review single person discounts county-wide to clamp down on fraud and secure council tax revenue.
Reviewing council tax single person discounts (SPD) to ensure claimants are legitimately entitled to the reduction in their bills is a key responsibility for local authorities. The Derbyshire Transformational Partnership, consisting of multiple Derbyshire Councils, undertook a county-wide review of its SPD in order to identify and remove fraudulent claims. The review involved all nine council tax authorities in Derbyshire. The overall goal was to accurately identify and remedy fraudulent SPD claims and therefore maintain the revenue for each of its local authorities. This, in turn, would help them to keep future council tax costs down for all citizens. To achieve this goal it was vital that the review was conducted in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible, with minimal disruption to Council employees
A fully-managed SPD review was implemented across all nine council tax collection authorities in Derbyshire. Capita was chosen to undertake the exercise using its SPD review service in conjunction with credit reference data from Equifax. The basis of the review was to identify risk in SPD claims. Crucially, Capita took on the project on a risk-and-reward basis, with each of the nine authorities only charged for any discounts that were actually removed and remained off discount for a defined period. Capita, therefore, provided the resources to conduct the review, with minimal additional workload for staff at each of the Derbyshire authorities.
Nearly 135,000 SPDs across the nine Derbyshire authorities were reviewed with almost 10,000 cases identified for removal as a result. The average removal rate across
Derbyshire was 6.7%, but for some authorities this was significantly higher, with Derby City Council seeing a removal rate of 9.7%. Overall the cancellations have generated additional receipts for Derbyshire local authorities totalling £2.531 million.
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