Unison fraud claims are ridiculous and unscientific – NOA

Tuesday September 13th, 2011

The chairman of the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) has hit out at Unison claims that £1.3bn is lost in fraud through the outsourcing of services every year.

Unison calculated these figures by assuming an even distribution of the Government’s estimate that procurement fraud cost the public sector £2.4bn a year. NOA chairman Martyn Hart said the figures were calculated by ‘ridiculous, unscientific, logic’.

He said: “It remains unclear where the data in the Annual Fraud Indicator has come from, or how this estimate of a £2.4bn ‘fraud bill’ was deduced.  More sensible figures are mentioned in the government report ‘Eliminating Public Sector Fraud’, stating that £0.5 million has been identified for recovery. Overpayments and underpayments are common in any ongoing contractual relationship, and these are resolved in audit, and balances paid in due course.

“The National Outsourcing Association welcomes the call for civil servants to end the ‘pay first, check later culture that exists within the public sector. Strong governance is a key feature of successful outsourcing contracts. If public sector leaders need guidance on how to optimise contracts and manage ongoing relationships, we are here to help. The first step in the NOA’s lifecycle model says you should consult your own staff on how you can achieve your objectives. Unison would be better off coming up with ideas on cost savings by asking its members, rather than relying on spurious statistics to discredit ‘the enemy’.”

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