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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20816: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20404 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, whether it remains its position that the sole role of Police Scotland, as set out at section 5.4 of its document, Social Security Programme - Programme Blueprint, which was published under the freedom of information request, FoI/18/02106, is to "liaise with the agency on matters relating to fraud, organised crime and other areas" and, if so, for what reason this is not referred to in the response.

 

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 17 January 2019

The original PQ referred to where Police Scotland would act as a Delivery Partner. We have no definition of a Delivery Partner.

However we have been clear that we anticipate that the Counter Fraud function within the Agency will participate in formal intelligence sharing networks (other participants include Police Scotland, HMRC, DWP and many other government departments) and/or collaborative investigations where appropriate. This position is reflected in the Counter Fraud Strategy published September 2018.

Social Security Scotland’s Counter Fraud team are a Specialist Reporting Agency. This means the agency has civilian investigation officers able to investigate allegations relating to the benefit offences introduced by the Social Security Act 2018 to criminal investigation standard, including direct submission of crime reports to the Crown Office for consideration of prosecution action. Police Scotland have the remit to investigate and report alleged criminal activity of any kind, which could include these offences, however should they decide to undertake such an investigation it would not constitute a service provision arrangement.