220,000 government files destroyed by accident
Thursday 02 December 2010
More than 220,000 files relating to payments from the Government's Social Fund, which administers loans and grants, were accidentally destroyed by jobcentre staff in the past year in a paper reduction exercise, it was revealed today.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said missing case papers was a "significant" issue which had been compounded by the loss of so many files.
The comptroller and auditor general, Amyas Morse, said today he had qualified the Social Fund White Paper Account for the seventh consecutive year because of "material levels of error" in discretionary awards, which include budgeting loans, crisis loans and community care grants, and in funeral expense payments.
He has also qualified his opinion on Sure Start maternity grants, for the first time, because of the level of error found in these payments.
The NAO said its best estimate of the total of overpayments in 2009/10 was £106.4 million, around 2.6% of total payments, up from £83.5 million in 2008/09.
The true level of overpayments, though, could be between £82 million to £130 million, the NAO said in a report.
Mr Morse, head of the NAO, said: "The Social Fund provides financial assistance to some of the most vulnerable in society and, of course, judgments associated with making discretionary awards are to some degree subjective. However, the material level of error in these payments has led me to qualify my opinion.
"I have identified a number of new challenges, as well as the existing issues, which the Department must address in the coming year. I will continue to monitor progress made to correct these problems."
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...