New Year, New Finances

Date: 10th Mar 2016

Venue: Le Pont de la Tour, 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE

The New Year is when reality bites on the personal finances – and on those of Whitehall departments and agencies too.

That is particularly the case for those departments that are putting into place their financial plans developed in anticipation of last year's November Spending Review.

With money tight, this year will see continued efforts to reduce the public money wasted on fraud and error. Fraud and error is estimated to cost the UK government an estimated 30bn every year. Around 20bn of that is accounted for by fraud with a further 10bn going missing as a result of administrative errors.

Data remains a stumbling block to combating fraud: the government holds vital data but frequently is unaware of its importance or relevance. Tackling fraud means eliminating silos and making intelligent use of big data resources that already exist across government.

According to an IBM Smarter Analytics white paper on fraud, error and analytics in UK public sector, efforts to combat and prevent fraudulent activities are often fragmented, inefficient and outdated. As a consequence, Whitehall writes off up to 8bn of debt every year. The amount of money lost every year through fraud and error is equivalent to the UK’s entire defence budget, the paper says.

The application of information and insights obtained through advanced data analytic techniques could help the government to stem these losses. But in to achieve this, departments and agencies will have to adopt a more joined-up approach and take steps to share more data.

To combat these losses, IBM suggests, the government needs to develop two capabilities. First, it needs to be able to identify where fraud and error losses are occurring, or are likely to occur. Then it needs solutions that meet day-to-day operational needs, with front-line tools and embedded processes that reduce the amount of fraud and error that happens in the first place. The implementation of advanced analytic techniques and the creation of a single customer view are vital if these needs are to be met.

To examine some of these issues around fraud and error, Government Computing is holding a dinner in London on February 18th in association with IBM at Le Pont de la Tour near Butler’s Wharf, not far from HMS Belfast. We’ll discuss how the public sector in general, and Whitehall departments in particular, are tackling fraud and error, progressing their efforts to reduce or even better eliminate its impact.

Le Pont de la Tour is a luxurious riverside destination with iconic views combining traditional yet innovative French cuisine, knowledgeable and friendly staff, thoughtful design that evokes the Parisian chic of the 1930s and stunning views of the City and Tower Bridge.

It promises to be a great evening, with lively debate in a convivial setting. Attendance is entirely free of charge but spaces are limited, so please register today. We look forward to welcoming you – and helping sort out the public finances.

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