Responding to welfare fraud: the Australian experience. AIC reports. Public policy series 119.
Australian Institute of Criminology
The introduction throughout the 20th century of welfare payments such as pensions, unemployment and parenting allowances, and the parallel rise of fraud eroding the integrity of these payment systems, has preoccupied advanced economy governments in terms of both designing and implementing robust welfare payments and compliance measures.
While the welfare system is important for social cohesion and the wellbeing of vulnerable Australian citizens (almost one-third of the population are on some form of payment), it is concluded that the massive expenditure in this area means that a fraud prevention system must be optimally designed. 'Getting it right' enhances the credibility of the system including its acceptance by taxpayers who fund the payments and also allows genuine welfare recipients more dignity within a robust system. In that regard, this report is an important analysis at the start of the 21st century of how our welfare benefits system compares internationally and the effectiveness of government fraud measurement and prevention systems.