The 2019/20 audit of Social Security Scotland


The 2019/20 audit of Social Security Scotland

An estimated £14.8m of a carer's benefit is thought to have been overpaid in Scotland due to error and fraud, a report by the Auditor General has shown.

The inherent risk of error and fraud in social security systems means an audit qualification is not unusual. The National Audit Office has qualified the annual accounts of the DWP for the last 31 years.

Social Security Scotland has improved error and fraud prevention and detection in the last year. But it remains reliant on the DWP for the delivery of much of the £3.5 billion it spends on benefits, and for the associated estimates of error and fraud. That increases the audit risk to Social Security Scotland's finances at a time when Covid-19's economic impact brings added uncertainty. 

Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland, said: 
"Social Security Scotland has strengthened its error and fraud arrangements and reacted quickly to the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, but there's still a lot of key work to be done.
 "It is now responsible for billions in complex benefits spending but remains heavily reliant on the DWP. Benefit spending may rise because of Covid-19, increasing the potential for greater error and fraud. And Social Security Scotland needs to think about what arrangements will be needed to manage that scenario."

The 2019/20 audit of Social Security Scotland

Oral evidence session 10 December 2020

The Committee took evidence from the Auditor General for Scotland and Audit Scotland.

Please read the Official Report of 10 December 2020

Meeting papers for 10 December 2020

Minutes from 10 December 2020


The Committee agreed at its meeting on 21 January 2021 to close its scrutiny of the report.

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