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Social Security (Scotland) Bill Policy Position Paper – Fraud and Offence Provisions

Social Security (Scotland) Bill Policy Position Paper – Fraud and Offence Provisions

Friday, October 6, 2017

ISBN: 9781788512879

This paper is one of a series through which the Scottish Government aims to support scrutiny of the Bill by setting out its current policy thinking on key matters to be examined during stage 1. This specific paper is focused on the fraud offence provisions in the Bill.

Executive Summary

The Scottish Government‘s social security system will be based on a number of core principles, where social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and that they should be paid in the right amount at the right time. The scale of the task of developing a social security system, where regular payments of assistance will be made to 1.4 million people, means that there is a risk of fraudulent activity taking place. This could result in an incorrect payment being made and potentially less resource available for those who need it most.

As set out in the principles of the Scottish Public Finance Manual (and in line with the wider Scottish public sector), the Scottish Government believes that a zero-tolerance approach to social security fraud should be taken. While the main focus will be on prevention of fraud through the deployment of robust systems and procedures in the social security Agency, enforcement action will be required where fraudulent activities do take place.