Financial loss due to fraud and error during the COVID-19 pandemic: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. How much money was lost to fraud and error over the course of the Covid pandemic (the years 2020-21, 21-22)? The most recent estimate I can find says it is between £16-32 million but this was from some time ago, so if there is a more precise and more up to date figure that would be greatly appreciated.

2. How much of the money lost to fraud and error over the course of the Covid pandemic has been recovered by the Scottish government in the subsequent years (2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24)?


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

1. The current estimate of the amount of fraud and error in Covid-19 business funding during the pandemic of 1% – 2% remains robust. This equates to the estimated figure you mentioned of £16m - £32m. This figure was also considered to be robust by Audit Scotland. Work continues with local authorities to interrogate this estimate.

2. It is for local authorities and delivery partners to recover any funds which they deem to have been incorrectly paid to claimants. The Scottish Government has no role in the recovery of these funds.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reason why we don't have the information is that the information on recovery of funds is the responsibility of local authorities and delivery partners.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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