Child Benefit Compliance

Palerider

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Received the letter yet again as I do every year. Fed up with this waste of taxpayers money !!! Whole family born and leave in Ireland and Irish citizens and still plage us...I suppose they have to find some way af keeping these overpaid government workers in employment.
If that is all that is making you fed up with the waste as you say of taxpayers money well you ain't doing too bad.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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The current approach is extremely labour-intensive and time consuming for parents and civil servants alike.

In other countries they just match school records with benefits databases.

This would require the use of PPS numbers everywhere, and some Irish people cry 'nanny state' when that is proposed.
 

Folsom

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It is an antiquated way of doing things.
One of the requirements for child benefit is to have the benefit paid into an Irish registered bank account. A simple electronic transfer from the bank notifying SW that the account is still active and that that activity is occurring in Ireland would end a lot of this.
Where the account is set up as a savings account with little or no activity other than the deposit of child benefit, then notification of an associated account active in Ireland could be agreed.
SW could, when sending out these letters request permission from the account holders to request this information from the bank. If agreed, then this would drastically limit the postage and the time-consuming labour in future, and more focus could be placed on activities that are considered unusual.
 

RedOnion

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A simple electronic transfer from the bank notifying SW that the account is still active and that that activity is occurring in Ireland would end a lot of this.
You've no idea how banks systems work if you think that's simple.

And even if it were, there are so many ways around it.
 
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Folsom

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You've no idea how banks systems work if you think that's simple.
I cant imagine it would be anything but that simple, but im willing to be enlightened.

And even if it were, there are so many ways around it.
No doubt there is. Just as there are many ways around the current post system.
I only suggested electronic notification on the basis that it could alleviate the time-consuming labour intensive postal set up, facilitating more intelligence based checks over random checks.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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@Folsom

You would have big IT expenditure on all sides and lots of false positives and false negatives.

A better idea would be a system for schools to report on pupil registration three times a year (not sure if this already exists) matched up to the DEASP database via PPS numbers.
 

Delboy

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And I'm sure GDPR would rare it's head in data transfers/comparisons like that
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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And I'm sure GDPR would rare it's head in data transfers/comparisons like that
You would probably need a new set of national legislation.

GDPR allows this once it's done properly. Many EU countries integrate health, education and welfare records better than Ireland.
 

Folsom

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And I'm sure GDPR would rare it's head in data transfers/comparisons like that
Not if the account holders have given consent for the information transfer. Which I assume most would considering they have already given SW their bank account details and SW already own their PPSN.
Unless of course they prefer to keep having to return postage checks each year.
 

Folsom

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You would have big IT expenditure on all sides and lots of false positives and false negatives.
Im no IT expert but im not seeing where the big IT expenditures would be required. This would simply be a transfer of information from the bank, with consent of account holder, to SW providing simple information - is their activity on the account and if yes, is that activity inside the State?

Granted it may generate false positives and negatives.
But the point is that the automated technology is available to better target possible fraud and reduce time-consuming labour intensive postal systems. As some posters have shown, even though they have returned letters they have still been cut off for a period - a false negative in itself.
By using automated technology, SW should be able to better target households where it is suspected that child benefit is no longer applicable.
They already do it with other welfare schemes such as free tv license. SW can contact energy companies and request details of electricity or gas usage for a property to gauge whether anyone lives in the property.
 

gipimann

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It is an antiquated way of doing things.
One of the requirements for child benefit is to have the benefit paid into an Irish registered bank account. A simple electronic transfer from the bank notifying SW that the account is still active and that that activity is occurring in Ireland would end a lot of this.
.
Not true - Child Benefit can be collected at a post office.
http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/3875_How-do-I-get-my-payment.aspx
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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Im no IT expert but im not seeing where the big IT expenditures would be required. This would simply be a transfer of information from the bank, with consent of account holder, to SW providing simple information - is their activity on the account and if yes, is that activity inside the State?
You would need a process for matching the data held in banks' systems with that of DEASP. Algorithms for flagging matches and potential discrepancies, interfaces for DEASP staff to examine them, etc.
 

Folsom

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You would need a process for matching the data held in banks' systems with that of DEASP. Algorithms for flagging matches and potential discrepancies, interfaces for DEASP staff to examine them, etc.
The DEASP already have the PPSN (they issue it), they already have a bank account number (save those who collect at the PO). The bank obviously has the account number, and to open an account you need to provide your PPSN.
If DEASP are sending money transfer into bank accounts, then the process for matching data is already in place. All that is needed is additional information added to what is already known.

Im getting the impression here that you consider that the current postal checks are more effective and efficient than what any IT data transfer and analysis could produce?

Perhaps someone with an IT background could make a suggestion?
 

RedOnion

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to open an account you need to provide your PPSN
You don't have to provide PPSN to open a current account, unless applying for credit.

Plus, the use of PPSN is protected by legislation, so would require specific legislation to allow it to be used as you've suggested. In fact, the bank wouldn't need PPSN at all - DEASP would need to provide the accounts to be monitored to each bank. I'm going to ignore the data protection aspects.

Perhaps someone with an IT background could make a suggestion?
I already have. It's technically possible, but you're talking about massive spend. Somewhere around 100m+ across the banks and DEASP.
Even after that, it would be do simple to get around.
A far more effective solution is to legislate for the use of PPSN for all government related services, and include it on school roll systems, childcare schemes, etc.
 

Folsom

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I'm going to ignore the data protection aspects.
There are no data protection aspects if I have given my consent for my PPSN to be used in this way.

Even after that, it would be do simple to get around.
I wasn't proposing a panacea to child benefit fraud. Merely suggesting the increased usage of IT over postal services as a means to a more effective and efficient way of operating the scheme and monitoring fraud within the scheme.

A far more effective solution is to legislate for the use of PPSN for all government related services, and include it on school roll systems, childcare schemes, etc.
Yes, these sound additional measures that could be used to better target fraud within the system.
 

RedOnion

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There are no data protection aspects if I have given my consent for my PPSN to be used in this way.
It's not the use of PPSN that's I'm talking about (that's covered by legislation, not data protection).

Merely suggesting the increased usage of IT over postal services as a means to a more effective and efficient way of operating the scheme and monitoring fraud within the scheme.
Then just create an online form to replace the postal system. Far less expensive.
 

Gordon Gekko

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It’s hard to see the issue with profiling based on nationality. If a child benefit fraud investigator targets 300 families, 100 of Irish origin, 100 of Polish origin, and 100 of Nigerian origin, it’s difficult to see how the hit rate won’t be higher in relation to the second and third grouping.
 

Folsom

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It's not the use of PPSN that's I'm talking about (that's covered by legislation, not data protection).


Then just create an online form to replace the postal system. Far less expensive.
Which can be filled out where? Anywhere in the developed world?
The purpose of the postal letters is to confirm that you still reside at that address, in Ireland.
 

Folsom

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It’s hard to see the issue with profiling based on nationality. If a child benefit fraud investigator targets 300 families, 100 of Irish origin, 100 of Polish origin, and 100 of Nigerian origin, it’s difficult to see how the hit rate won’t be higher in relation to the second and third grouping.
??? What does any of this mean?

The issue is, unless im way off track, the inefficient postal checks for child benefit that see genuine recipients cut off because they didn't respond within 21 days because they were out of the country, or forgot, or the response got lost in the post, and how such a system is old hat.

What you are proposing is racial profiling which would render the DEASP to accusations of discrimination.
On the otherhand, if they issued 300 letters, with 270 going to Irish claimants, 20 to Polish, 10 to Nigerian etc, then that could be defended as proportionate profiling based on nationality and population, and not discriminatory.
 
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