The grave oversight came to light as part of the National FraudInitiative co-ordinated by the Audit Commission.
All that was required was to put information about pensionersinto a data-matching system with material from the Registrar ofBirths, Marriages and Deaths.
A report to Parliament revealed: ‘This exercise identified 333cases of deceased pensioners whose representatives failed tonotify the death and pensions therefore continued to be paid.’
Resulting overpayments amounted to £1.5 million, and the annualsavings resulting from the discovery willamount to £500,000 per year.
Some 800,000 has already been recovered, according to theCabinet Office Appropriation Accounts, and the remainder arebeing ‘pursued’ by officials.
The accounts also detailed continuing problems resulting fromthe National Insurance Recording System saga, with theoverpayment of pensions to lowly-paid civil servants also inreceipt of incapacity benefit and who became entitled toGuaranteed Minimum Pension.
The National Insurance Contributions Office failed to provideinformation about entitlement to GMP to public service pensionschemes to stop uprating that element of the pension, resultingin both the scheme and the DSS paying the uprating.
The department fear more overpayments were made to a largergroup of Civil Service pensioners who will continue to get double paymentsuntil GMP notifications are available from NICO.
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