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Inspectors find drop in performance at Redcar

Inspectors who visited a northern council because it failed to provide housing benefit performance data have found a history of poor planning and outdated technology.The Benefit Fraud Inspectorate targeted Redcar and Cleveland Council after it ‘consis
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Inspectors who visited a northern council because it failed to provide housing benefit performance data have found a history of poor planning and outdated technology.The Benefit Fraud Inspectorate targeted Redcar and Cleveland Council after it ‘consistently failed to provide quarterly management information'. BFI director Colin Moore apologised (Inside Housing, 28 March) that the council first heard of the plan in a press release also naming the eight poorest-performing councils to be marked for inspection.But in a special report published last week inspectors found a catalogue of problems at the formerly high-achieving authority. Implementing the anti-fraud verification framework and a large-scale voluntary transfer last year were deemed by inspectors to have been poorly planned and ‘senior management did not fully anticipate the effect they would have in terms of resources'. At the same time, there was uncertainty because of negotiations over contracting out the service. Liberata took over in May.Inspectors said that on their visit in June they found performance had dropped from upper to lower quartile and new claims were taking 77 days to process.


‘Claimants will soon notice the benefits of a speedier processing system'
– Cabinet member for corporate resources Glyn Nightingale

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