FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

15 March 2021

Please could you breakdown the following information from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021.

 

Please could the information be broken down concisely and as I have requested- in the most simple language/terms possible.

 

Q1) How many overpayments did your council identify for claims made as part of Covid-related government grant schemes it administered (for example, but not limited to: small business rates grant scheme; retail, hospital and leisure grant scheme) over the stated period?

 

1a) If such overpayments did occur, please could you tell me the total frequency of/ reasons for /such overpayment (for example, but not limited to: "payment error", "ineligible claim", "fraudulent claim"). 

 

1aa) For each of these overpayments please can you state: the cost to the council of the overpayment amount (in £); how much of its total has been recovered (in £) as of the current date, and how much money (in £) is outstanding as of the current date.

 

So, for instance, taking the "fraudulent claim" category as an example, your council may have made overpayments worth £300,000 for 30 fraudulent claims, recovered £25,000 for 2 of them as of the current date, meaning there is £275,000 outstanding for 28.  

 

1b) In relation to the identified fraudulent claims, please can you break this information down in terms of what kind of fraud occurred (for example, but not limited to: "organised fraud").

 



East Herts Council Response

13 April 2021

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

Q1) How many overpayments did your council identify for claims made as part of Covid-related government grant schemes it administered (for example, but not limited to: small business rates grant scheme; retail, hospital and leisure grant scheme) over the stated period?

3

 

1a) If such overpayments did occur, please could you tell me the total frequency of/ reasons for /such overpayment (for example, but not limited to: "payment error", "ineligible claim", "fraudulent claim"). 

 Fraudulent claim

1aa) For each of these overpayments please can you state: the cost to the council of the overpayment amount (in £); how much of its total has been recovered (in £) as of the current date, and how much money (in £) is outstanding as of the current date.

 3 x £10,000 outstanding

So, for instance, taking the "fraudulent claim" category as an example, your council may have made overpayments worth £300,000 for 30 fraudulent claims, recovered £25,000 for 2 of them as of the current date, meaning there is £275,000 outstanding for 28.  

 

1b) In relation to the identified fraudulent claims, please can you break this information down in terms of what kind of fraud occurred (for example, but not limited to: "organised fraud").

All 3 relate to claims where the property was subsequently found to be unoccupied

 

If you have any queries or complaint about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

 



Customer

13 April 2021

Hello,I hope whoever is reading this is keeping well.
Thanks very much for your response to my request regarding Covid grants. It is greatly appreciated.
Please would you be so kind to break down the three payments in terms of the names of the government grants they were paid in relation to, along with what day they were paid out (DD/MM/YYYY).
Please can you also tell me what day they were realised to be fraudulent (DD/MM/YYYY).
Is it possible to also tell me if police are in the process of tracking down the fraudsters? Could you please expand on what sort of property fraud this was (i.e. did each lie and say they lived in another premises to claim the grant, were the three applicants linked to one another, could it be described as "organised fraud"?).
Could you also please confirm whether or not it is accurate to say the total worth of the 3 overpayments came to £30,000, of which £0 has been recovered as of yet. You can treat this as a new request.
Best,
*****

-----Original Message-----

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed
and the information that we hold is enclosed.

Q1) How many overpayments did your council identify for claims made as
part of Covid-related government grant schemes it administered (for
example, but not limited to: small business rates grant scheme; retail,
hospital and leisure grant scheme) over the stated period?

3

 

1a) If such overpayments did occur, please could you tell me the total
frequency of/ reasons for /such overpayment (for example, but not limited
to: "payment error", "ineligible claim", "fraudulent claim"). 

 Fraudulent claim

1aa) For each of these overpayments please can you state: the cost to the
council of the overpayment amount (in £); how much of its total has been
recovered (in £) as of the current date, and how much money (in £) is
outstanding as of the current date.

 3 x £10,000 outstanding

So, for instance, taking the "fraudulent claim" category as an example,
your council may have made overpayments worth £300,000 for 30 fraudulent
claims, recovered £25,000 for 2 of them as of the current date, meaning
there is £275,000 outstanding for 28.  

 

1b) In relation to the identified fraudulent claims, please can you break
this information down in terms of what kind of fraud occurred (for
example, but not limited to: "organised fraud").

All 3 relate to claims where the property was subsequently found to be
unoccupied

 

If you have any queries or complaint about the processing of your request
please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act
contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all
correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

 

Information Management Team
East Herts Council
www.eastherts.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1279 655261
Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EQ.

*Please note: Information released under the Freedom of Information Act
may also be published on our website, along with details of the initial
request.

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*****

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