7 February 2008
Lie detectors have now been installed in five Jobcentres and one DWP call centre.
Initially, 1,250 claimants will be subjected to the new Advanced Validation System. Those who are identified as potential fraudsters will then be subjected to 'corroboration interviews'.
The lie detectors, based on technology developed by Mossad for use against Palestinian terrorists, went live on 28 January in the Lincoln Contact Centre and five Jobcentres in the Nottinghamshire district. They will be used for three months on people making new and repeat claims for income support and jobseeker's allowance. Where the lie detection software indicates 'at risk' cases, claimants will be ordered to attend 'corroboration interviews' to establish if the software can effectively identify possible fraud cases.
If the trials are successful lie detection software will be rolled out at all DWP call centres and Jobcentre Plus offices across the UK.
Meanwhile, Harrow Council claims that its use of the same technology has saved it more than £336,000 in housing and council tax benefit in the first seven months of a pilot scheme. The council claims that of 998 people assessed, 119 were identified as high risk and, of these, 43 were found to have been wrongly paid benefit.
Multinational Capita stand to make many millions of pounds in profit if the new system is adopted nationally by the DWP and local authorities..
© 2008 Steve Donnison