Question 1 (50 Marks) by jr8z8OX

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									                                                                IRRV CERTIFICATE IN
        IRRV EXAMINATIONS                                     LOCAL TAXATION AND
              TECHNICIAN*                                              BENEFITS**
                 June 2008                                        (England and Wales)
                                                                        June 2008
                                                           Level 3


* For those candidates who have passed Technician examinations before July 2007
**For candidates who have not previously passed Certificate examinations, or who previously
passed Certificate examinations in December 2007 only




       PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF HOUSING
                AND COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT FRAUD
                                  England & Wales

Wednesday 4th June 2008
1.55 pm-5.00 pm (incl. 5 mins. for reading)




                                     Time allowed: 3 hours




                                     Answer SIX questions
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
                                            Page 1 of 18
                                 All questions carry equal marks


                         Candidates should illustrate their answers with
                         reference to appropriate case law and
                 legislation.


                      Where questions are divided into sections,
                     marks
                      will be allocated equally unless otherwise
                     indicated.


                                       Maximum marks: 300




1. Local Authorities will often prosecute offenders found abusing the benefit
    scheme.


    a) Identify the relevant Social Security legislation which could be applied as
        charges against a subject, explaining the differences between each and
        identifying any restrictions and the maximum penalties that may be imposed.


                 (30 Marks)


    b) What factors would you have to consider before determining which of the
        charges you have identified is appropriate.                                  (10 Marks)


    c) What are the benefits to the local authority for this type of sanction?
                                                                                     (10 Marks)




Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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2. Counter fraud officers will be required to attend Court and understand the
    Judicial system.


    a) Describe the court procedures once a defendant enters a Guilty plea in a
        Magistrates court.                                                           (20 Marks)


    b) Describe how you would proceed from swearing in the Jury to its conclusion
        if a person enters a not guilty plea in Crown Court.                                  (25
        Marks)


    c) Explain the Phillips Principle.                                               (5 Marks).




3. Local Authorities on occasions will use surveillance in order to identify fraudulent
    abuse as a last resort.


    a) Identify and explain two examples of case law that you should you be mindful
        of when carrying out a surveillance exercise.                                         (10
        Marks).


    b) Identify and discuss the two most important articles from the European
        Convention of Human Rights that impact upon counter fraud officers when
        carrying out surveillance.                                                   (20 Marks).


    c) Identify and explain the monitoring forms that need to be completed in order
        to conduct a surveillance operation.                                         (20 Marks).




4. Counter Fraud Policies are an integral part of dealing with abuse against the
    benefit scheme.
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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    a) Compile a prosecution policy detailing what the policy should cover.
                                                                                     (30 Marks)
    b) How would you enforce your policy?                                                     (20
        Marks)




5. Counter fraud officers will follow the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Code of
    Practice when interviewing under caution.


    a) Describe how would you plan and prepare for an interview under caution.
                                                                                              (20
        Marks)


    b) Briefly explain Codes C, E and F of the Act.                                  (15 Marks)


    c) What measures would you put into place in order to avoid oppression when
        interviewing a subject?                                                      (15 Marks)




6. The Audit Commission provides Local Authorities with Data Matched information.


    a) What is the name applied to this exercise and how often is this information
        provided?                                                                    (10 Marks)


    b) Explain the role of the Audit Commission in relation to data matching
                                                                                     (10 marks)


    c) How is the information provided to Local Authorities, the results exchanged,
        and how does this differ from other data matching exercises?                          (15
        Marks)




Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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    d) Which other government agencies does the Audit commission collate
        information from and what reports are available to a Local Authority to cross-
        reference against their systems?                                                      (15
        Marks).




7. Local Authority Benefit Investigators often make enquiries applying Social Security
    legislation that is commonly known as Authorised officer powers.


    a) Explain the role of an Authorised Officer who may obtain information from an
        employer identifying the relevant Social Security Act and Sections. (15 Marks)


    b) What important factors must you explain to a person when requesting
        information as an Authorised Officer?                                        (10 Marks)


    c) Who else is required to provide information in accordance with the legislation
        you have identified?                                                         (10 Marks)


    d) The Social Security Fraud Act 2001 provided new powers for Authorised
        Officers. Identify and explain each of the relevant sections.
                  (15 Marks)
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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8. The Fraud Act 2006 took effect from 15th January 2007 and can be applied by
    Local Authorities when prosecuting benefit offenders.


    a) What factors must be considered before applying the Act?                               (15
        Marks)


    b) Identify and explain the section of the Act that deals with failing to declare a
        change in circumstances.                                                     (10 Marks)


    c) Explain Section 2 of the Fraud Act .                                          (10 Marks)


    d) The Theft Act 1968 was applied by Local Authorities prior to the introduction
        of the Fraud Act. Identify and explain three sections within the Theft Act that
        may have been applied against benefit offenders                                       (15
        Marks)




9. The rules of disclosure must be adhered to by Local Authorities.


    a) Identify and explain the three officer roles required in order to comply with
        the rules of disclosure                                                               (15
        Marks).


    b) What type of material would you include as sensitive?                         (10 Marks).


    c) Discuss the continuity of evidence and give examples of what you would set
        out to prove for benefit offences.                                                    (15
        Marks).


    d) Explain how material relating to an investigation should be retained.
                                                                                     (10 Marks).
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
                                            Page 6 of 18
10. The Data Protection Act 1998 is important law which Counter Fraud Teams
    should consider and apply.




    a) Section 29 of the Act contains three categories. What are these for?
                                                                                     (15 marks).
    b) Which section of the Act allows a Local Authority Counter Fraud Officer to
        make enquires and collect evidence under statutory legislation?                       (10
        Marks).


    c) Identify the section within the act which deals with unlawful disclosure of
        information and explain the penalties that could be imposed.                 (25 Marks).




Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
                                            Page 7 of 18
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
                                          June 2008

                                          Mark Scheme


Question 1 - Prosecution

1 a) Examples include:- (10 marks max. 2 per example)
     Section 112A or 112(1)
     Section 112(1A)
     Section 111A
     Section 111(1A)
     Other (1b to 1g).

     Identification (e.g. knowingly, dishonestly, restrictions, timebars, dates of offence
      – prior to introduction of section 111A) – 2marks for correct correctly matching
      each point. (max 10 marks)
     Penalties – 5 marks each for correct full explanation summary and indictable
      (max 10 marks).
b) Examples include:- (10 Marks – 1 each example)
     Evidence to prosecution standard
     Dishonesty or Knowingly
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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     Health factors
     First offence
     Level of overpayment
     Admission
     Interviewed under caution
     Previous records
     Period of offence
     Time of offence
     Other examples.
c) Examples include: - (10 Marks – 1 each example)
     Financial
     Preventative/Message
     Record held
     Alternatives to prosecution
     Two strikes
     Previous conviction
     Public Interest
     Prevalent
     Position of trust
     Other




Question 2 - Courts


    a) – (20 Marks)
    Prosecution reads out to court outline of case, costs and compensation requested - 2
    Magistrates question prosecution if deemed necessary to clarify points – 2
    Defence offer explanation and mitigation to offence- 2
    Magistrates question if deemed necessary - 2
    Clerk to the court advises bench of points of law/maximum sentencing powers - 2
    Magistrates retire or discuss verdict - 2
    Upon magistrates return all stand - 2
    Subject asked to remain standing - 2
    Magistrates confirm conviction - 2
    Refer for sentencing or pass sentence - 1
    Probation report - 2
    Bench retire or all concerned are dismissed from court - 1


Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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    b) (25 marks)
    Jury sworn in - 1
    Prosecution opens case - 1
    Prosecution witness called - 2
    Witnesses sworn in - 2
    Examination by prosecution - 2
    Cross examination by defence - 2
    Re-examination by prosecution if deemed necessary - 1
    Defence witnesses called - 1
    Examination by defence - 2
    Re-examination prosecution if deemed necessary - 2
    Prosecution closing speech to jury - 1
    Defence closing speech to jury - 1
    Judge sums up and directs jury to points of law - 1
    Jury retires - 1
    Not guilty – accused discharged - 2
    Guilty – Previous convictions read out - 2
    Judge Sentences - 1
    Other good points/explanations - 1

    c) (10 Marks – 1 each)
     Dress code
     Act respectfully to all persons within the court
     Deal with requests made by court personnel immediately
     Movement in court should be made at an opportune time and as quietly as
        possible to avoid disruption to proceedings
     If no seating available – must not stand at the back of the court
     Do not dispute a magistrates or judges decision
     Magistrates should be acknowledged by a bow upon entering and leaving the
        court
     Address the magistrates or judges accordingly to their title.
     Other good examples

    d) (5 Marks)
    Explanation – the investigating body must be separate and independent from the
    prosecuting body

Question 3 - Surveillance

    a) (10 Marks)
    R v Turnbull
    Explanation – including advocate

    (10 Marks)
    R v Johnson
    Explanation – including authorisation under RIPA and protection of witness
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
                                            Page 10 of 18
    (20 Marks)
    b) Article 6 (3 marks)
        Right to a fair trial (3 marks)

Explanations include: -

1, In the determination of civil rights and obligations or any charge against him,
everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by a an
independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be
pronounced publicly but the press and the public may be excluded from all or part of the
trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society,
where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of parties so require,
or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances
where the publicity would prejudice of interests of justice (1 marks).

2, Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven
guilty by law (1 marks)

3, everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him (1 marks);

b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence (1 marks)

c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he
has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests
of justice require (1 marks);

d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against
him (1 marks);

e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the
language used in court (1 marks)
Article 8 (3 marks)

Right to respect for private life
1 Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life and his home and his
correspondence. (3 marks)

2 There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right
except such in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the
interests of national security, public safety or the economic well being of the
country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or
morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. (2 marks)
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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c) (20 marks)
     RIP1 application (4 Marks)
     RIP2 Review (4 Marks)
     RIP3 Renewal (4 Marks)
     RIP 4 Cancellation (4 Marks)
     RIP5 Change of circumstances forms (4 Marks)

Question 4 - Policies

    a) (30 Marks – 2 marks each)
    Examples include –

       Members have agreed policy that supports prosecution where appropriate and
        which takes into account public interest
       Notes advice from DWP
       Authority prepared to prosecute
       Joint investigations
       Types of fraud
       Internal and external fraud
       Decisions on prosecution recorded
       Alternatives - Ad pens and cautions
       Publicity
       Cost of operations.
       Comply with legislation
       Training
       No of staff.
       Prosecuting agencies – SOLP, In house, CPS, etc.
       Other examples

    (20 Marks – 2 marks each)
    b) Examples include

                Publicity
                Members agree changes in law and legislation
                Updated regularly
                Legal arrangements
                SLA agreements
                Regular training/Fraud awareness
                Independent decision maker
                Budgets
                Planning
                Cost effectivness
                Resources
                Costs and compensation
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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                Regular Training/qualifications
                Other examples.

Question 5 - Interviews under Caution

    a)      (20 Marks – 2 each example)
              Review all evidence
              Check Potentially violent register
              Exhibit documents to be shown
              Prepare questions to be asked
              Plan points to prove
              Write to the suspect giving a date and time for interview
              Book and prepare interview room
              Check equipment
              Check availability of colleagues if required
              Ensure stationary and notices updated
              Code of practice available
              Allow sufficient time for breaks if necessary
              Other good points

     b)     (15 Marks – 5 each)
             Code C interviewing
             Code E Taped facilities
             Code F Video facilities

     c)     (15 Marks – 2 each)
              Facilities/Room
              Contemporaneous recording
              Refreshments
              Breaks
              Time of interview
              Other persons present
              Legal representation
              Verbal abuse
              Torture
              Other examples



Question 6 Data Matching

    (10 Marks – 5 each)
    a) National fraud initiative.
        Bi-Annually
    (10 Marks – 2 each)
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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    b) Collates information
        Records national findings
        Manages website/Systems
        Data Protection matters
        Other Legal matters
    (15 Marks – 1 each)
    c) Government agency Pension Providers
        Other Las
        NHS
        Immigration
        Housing/Council Tax Benefits
        Payroll
        Student loans
        Pensions
        Immigration/leave to remain/asylum
        Creditors
        Insurance
        VAT
        Other Taxi Licensing records
        Council Tax Single occupancy
        Electoral registrations
        Market traders

    (15 Marks – 3 each)
    d) Must be provided
        Secure website
        Allocated staff roles
        Results Reported electronically
        Performance Reported 3 monthly
        Audited

Question 7 Authorised officers
  a) (15 Marks)
   Child support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (3 marks)
   Section 109A / 110ASSAA92 (2 marks) + (2 Marks brief explanation)
   Section 109B SSAA92 (2 marks) + (2 Marks brief explanation)
   Section 109C SSAA92 (2 marks) + (2 Marks brief explanation)




    b) (10 Marks – 2 each)
     Will not be in breach of Data Protection Act (section 35(1))
     Do not have to provide information that may incriminate themselves or a spouse
Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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       Failure to comply may result in further legal action
       Contact details
       Section of the Social Security legislation applied
       Other relevant points

    c) (Max 10 Marks)
     Any person who is or has been a self employed earner - 1
     Any person who under existing legislation is treated as an employer, employee, or
        self employed earner - 1
     Any person carrying on, or has carried on, any business involving the supply of
        goods for sale to the ultimate consumes by individuals not carrying on retail
        business from retail premises (e.g. catalogue companies) - 2
     Any person who is carrying on, or has carried on, any business involving the
        supply of goods or services by use of work done or services performed by persons
        other than employees of his (e.g. self employed individuals who are paid on a
        commission basis, etc, such as double glazing salespersons or sub-contractors) -2
     Any person who is carrying on or has carried on an agency or other business for
        the introduction or supply, to others, of persons available to do work or perform
        services (e.g. employment agencies) - 2
     Any LA acting in their capacity as an authority responsible for the granting of any
        licence (e.g. taxi drivers, market traders) -1
     Any person who is or has been a trustee or manager of a personal or occupational
        pension scheme; - 1
     Any person who is or has been liable to make a compensation payment or
        payment to the secretary of state under section 6 of the Social Security (Recovery
        of Benefits) Act 1997 (payments in respect of recoverable benefits) - 1
     The servants and agents of any person described above - 1
    d) (15 Marks)
     Section 110a(2a) appointment of Authorised officer - 3
     Section 109b(2b) Requesting information specific person - 2
     Section 109b(2a) information providers - 2
     Section 109b(2c) particular persons identified -2
     Section 109b(2d) Utilities providers non-person specific - 2
     Section 109b(2e) telecommunications data no accessible - 2
     Section 109b(2f) information available from telecommunications providers - 2




Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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Question 8 Fraud Act

    a) Can only be applied to offences committed after 15th January 2007 (5 Marks)
       Must prove dishonesty /No provisions for knowingly (5 Marks)
       Other legislation/law (5 Marks)
       Other examples

    b) Section 3 - Fraud by failing to disclose information (10 Marks)

    c) Fraud by false representation (10 Marks)

    d) Section 15 – obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception (5 Marks)
       Section 15A – Obtaining money transfer by deception (5 Marks)
       Section 24A – Dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit (5 Marks)

Question 9 Disclosure
  a)
       Marks -                                 Roles         Explanation
   Investigations Officer                     2         3
   Officer In Charge                          2         3
   The Disclosure Officer                     2         3

    b) (10 Marks)
     Details of source of allegation - 1
     Material given in confidence and supplied on condition that a subpoena
       would be required to disclose contents - 2
     Material showing directly or indirectly Investigation techniques - 1
     Information that might facilitate benefit fraud or hinder
       Prevention/detection of fraud - 1
     Internal investigations officer, DWP and solicitors branch - 2
     Communications concerning the disclosure of information - 1
     Internal investigations officer information – 1
     Other examples - 1

    c)  (15 marks)
        Dates - 1
        Locations - 1
        Subjects names - 1
        Times - 1
        Objects/Documents used - 1
    Explanation – including:-
        The person who (claimed benefit/allowed another to claim) is the same person
           committing the offence - 2
        Knowledge - 2
        Intent - 2

Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
                                            Page 16 of 18
           Actions - 2



    d) (10 Marks – 1 each example)
        Investigators responsibility
        Any material received as a result of an investigation or interview
        Perishable can be photographed
        Can be copied and certified as original seen
        Officer should take steps to obtain evidence that was previously examined and
          not considered relevant at the time which is now considered relevant.
       Examples of material include.
        Claim forms
        Cheques
        Tapes
        Statement
        CCTV video
        Internal notes
        Emails
        Objects such as computers

Question 10 Data Protection


    a) (15 marks – 5 each)
         The prevention and detection of crime
         The apprehension or prosecution of offenders
         The assessment or collection of any tax or duty or imposition of a similar
           nature

    (10 Marks)
    b) Section 35(1)

    c) (25 marks – 5 each)
        Section 55
        Prosecution
        Removal from Data Protection register
        Disciplinary
        Fine
        Other example




Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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Prevention and Detection of Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, Certificate, England & Wales
June 2008
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