SFO investigates G4S for 'overcharging millions on government contracts'

#3
Only millions---that would not even register here as we talk about fraud, waste and abuse in the federal government only in terms of tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of dollars.

As a percentage of total spending on entitlement programs, fraud has been reduced somewhat over the past decade. But the size of social programs has been growing so rapidly that the amount of money lost to fraud remains enormous in total dollar terms. Moreover, the recent stimulus program has created new opportunities for fraud, according to the FBI. Among the largest sources of improper payments:
Medicare & Medicaid – The Department of Health and Human Services pays for health care for more than 100 million Americans. Medicare currently spends nearly $600 billion and is projected to rise to $1 trillion by the end of the decade. Medicaid spending is harder to quantify because it is split between the Federal government and the States, but it currently totals more than $400 billion and is growing faster than Medicare. These amounts are so big that government health care accounts for the biggest chunk of fraud, ranging from overcharges for drugs and surgery to insurance claims that are totally bogus. For the 2011 fiscal year (2011-2012), the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that improper payments exceeded $64 billion.
Social Security – More than 56 million Americans receive more than $770 billion a year in Social Security payments. Regular Social Security payments are quite accurate, with overpayments running less than half a percent. Improper payments are much higher for Supplemental Security Income, which goes chiefly to low-income Americans who are aged, blind, or disabled. Last year, the Social Security Administration inspector general told a Congressional subcommittee that Social Security overpayments were about $6.5 billion, $4 billion of which was for Supplemental Security Income.
Food Stamps – The number of Americans on food stamps has soared from 28 million in 2008 to 46 million today. Spending totals about $80 billion a year and outright fraud accounts for less than $1 billion a year. Two to three times as much is lost, however, through benefits that go to ineligible households. Total improper payments amount to more than $3 billion annually.
 
#4
#5
Is it G4S or Crapita that rely on 95% of income from public sector contracts? I always forget.
From BBC;
[h=2]G4S in 2012[/h]
  • £7.3bn turnover
  • Pre-tax profit: £516m
  • Quarter of turnover relates to government contracts
  • Half of business in Europe
  • Value of government contracts: £394m
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
I liked the bit about charging for dead people.

A while back, during what I sometimes laughingly describe as my second career, my then manager was yarning away* about a drop of consultancy he had done re computerising NHS records. The paper records for all of us lived in an hotel in Stockport. He said the indexing system for each individual's docket was envelope within box within racking within room. The number of personal records VASTLY exceeded the total population of the UK by many millions.

The reason, I think, is this: If you die, someone has to register that. They are asked for the person's NI and NHS numbers but of course may not know these. So the NHS is probably paying GPs capitation for zillions of dead patients. And how many State pensions go on being paid automatically to bank accounts after the owner has died, if the heir is savvy (and bent) enough to get and keep access to the account?


* A good bloke, GGson of the last man to be hanged in Pentonville Prison.
 
#9
I liked the bit about charging for dead people.

A while back, during what I sometimes laughingly describe as my second career, my then manager was yarning away* about a drop of consultancy he had done re computerising NHS records. The paper records for all of us lived in an hotel in Stockport. He said the indexing system for each individual's docket was envelope within box within racking within room. The number of personal records VASTLY exceeded the total population of the UK by many millions.

The reason, I think, is this: If you die, someone has to register that. They are asked for the person's NI and NHS numbers but of course may not know these. So the NHS is probably paying GPs capitation for zillions of dead patients. And how many State pensions go on being paid automatically to bank accounts after the owner has died, if the heir is savvy (and bent) enough to get and keep access to the account?


* A good bloke, GGson of the last man to be hanged in Pentonville Prison.

NHS patient records were, on the whole, shite. that was why the infamous NHS National Programme for IT system was brought in in the first place. (Conservative estimates reckon it cost £11-12 billion before its life support system was turned off. I was at the launch event, and it was clearly doomed even then.) A contract so catastrophic, even the successful bidders paid up to run away from it....
NHS Connecting for Health - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On your second point, there is no 'overall' State identity system- You get a birth certificate, and a death certificate, and pick up stuff inbetween, but there's no structure to cancel everything once a death certificate is issued. This is precisely how the 'Day of the Jackal' passport fraud operates-Because you can obtain a death certificate you know that Baby Thingamabob has left the stage-You can then get his birth certificate, (Which has not been cancelled) and use that to apply for a passport. With that, you can 'build' an ID.

Yet this has been a known security issue since Forsythe publicised it in 1971. Nothing has been done, I suspect, either because its too much like hard work, too expensive, or just because its too damn useful. -As the Met's Special Demonstration Squad have just been caught using just this procedure for their undercover operators!

PS-Charging for dead people- Another favourite NHS practitioner fraud! There's a LOT of GP's/dentists etc who have made good money prescribing the cemetery...
 
#10
Absolutely right. The NI and NHS numbers play no part in the birth and death registration. It would be far simpler in some ways if you NHS number became your NI number because any health related benefits you get are intimately related to the NHS. The Belgian system of identification is based on your NI number precisely because with so many people having the same name the Unique identifier is the NI number.
 
#12
Absolutely right. The NI and NHS numbers play no part in the birth and death registration. It would be far simpler in some ways if you NHS number became your NI number because any health related benefits you get are intimately related to the NHS. The Belgian system of identification is based on your NI number precisely because with so many people having the same name the Unique identifier is the NI number.
The Italians give everybody a unique tax code (Codice Fiscale) - yes, I know - which is yours from birth to death. The Swiss do much the same thing with an AVS number.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
During the war we were all given National Identity number, based on the household, and noted on our ID card. So I became WXYZ-60-5 (5 because I was tail end Charlie) and still have the ID disc with it on which I wore on a string round my neck in cae Goering interfered with family life. When the NHS came in the same system was crudely adapted, Master Seaweed being promoted to -3 because the household had shrunk. I think I only acquired an NI no when I had to register with the Min of Labour just before I joined the Navy. Not sure how it works now but that is how the shambles started.
 
#14
Absolutely right. The NI and NHS numbers play no part in the birth and death registration. It would be far simpler in some ways if you NHS number became your NI number because any health related benefits you get are intimately related to the NHS. The Belgian system of identification is based on your NI number precisely because with so many people having the same name the Unique identifier is the NI number.
Back in the dawn of time, it was decided that some benefits were NI linked, (especially your State Pension and unemployment) and some weren't.(Note that I've have been out of this game for a while, so things may have changed)
Most people in the UK were children at some point in their lives, so the Child Benefit number graduates into your NI number.

Your NHS number is, as I understand it, entirely different, but there are some medical benefits that are NI related. Hence the confusion-The NHS treats people both with and without NI numbers, and if you made NHS linkages into the HMRC system, you might find the tail wagging the dog, due to the sheer number of NHS numbers being inflicted on an already creaky system.

Having a 'standard' number would simplify everything, but I don't see it happening due to the huge 'legacy' data issues involved.
 
#15
Back in the dawn of time, it was decided that some benefits were NI linked, (especially your State Pension and unemployment) and some weren't.(Note that I've have been out of this game for a while, so things may have changed)
Most people in the UK were children at some point in their lives, so the Child Benefit number graduates into your NI number.

Your NHS number is, as I understand it, entirely different, but there are some medical benefits that are NI related. Hence the confusion-The NHS treats people both with and without NI numbers, and if you made NHS linkages into the HMRC system, you might find the tail wagging the dog, due to the sheer number of NHS numbers being inflicted on an already creaky system.

Having a 'standard' number would simplify everything, but I don't see it happening due to the huge 'legacy' data issues involved.
And that's missing out DWP. DWP should have become merged with the Revenue not HMCand E which only got hived in when the Revenue got back VAT. That's why the rest of us became HO. Bollox isn't it? Not being funny but I always felt that what was left of Customs should have gone to MOD, but that's a by the by. But not having cross referred birth, death and passports is clearly the key to the problem and whilst biometrics is a step forward, it would not have been essential if the systems had be indexed together.
 
#16
And that's missing out DWP. DWP should have become merged with the Revenue not HMCand E which only got hived in when the Revenue got back VAT. That's why the rest of us became HO. Bollox isn't it? Not being funny but I always felt that what was left of Customs should have gone to MOD, but that's a by the by. But not having cross referred birth, death and passports is clearly the key to the problem and whilst biometrics is a step forward, it would not have been essential if the systems had be indexed together.
More confused than that!- Once upon a time the DHSS as was did all the NI, Inland Revenue did Tax, and HMRC did VAT.
PAYE (run by IR) collected and recorded the NI for the DSS, but DSS worked out the benefits.
Then, some bright spark realised that the bulk of the DHSS paid money out, but there was a small bit that sorted out NI cock ups and brought money in.

That bit (The Contributions Agency) got rolled over into the Inland Revenue, not because the IR was better at NI, but because both bits generated income. Later, it all got spot-welded onto HMRC as the VAT bit, again, generated income.

The problem is, that the SOURCES of that income, and the entitlements for benefits, were very different, and insanely complex. It was a bit like a kitchen- The Government thought that everyone who was wearing whites was an identical expert, but failed to appreciate that there is a big difference between a cordon bleu chef who does bespoke work for the high end market, compared to Joe the Slop Jockey.

Now, when I was in, the big promise was the mighty NIRS2 computer that was supposed to digitise all the tax and NI records on one platform. (Another legendary Pubic Sector giant IT cock up). It finally worked, after a fashion, but there was an awful lot of legacy errors that were never really sorted. Gawd only knows what its like now.
 

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