Fraud, error & debt | 9 May 2014 | Meeting note


Sonia Bussu, Involve
Jackie Rley, HMRC
Bevis Ingram, LGA
Oliver Butler, Law Commission
Paul Warren, Informatica
Tony Qayum, LB Tower Hamlets
Jonathan Dennis, DWP (Legal)
Mike Pinder, LB Southwark
Paul Wilson, NHS Protect
Ivana Bartoletti, NHS Protect
John Eliott, Open Rights Group
John McIlinwrath, DWP
Sara Rolin, ICO
Weiran Ni, Cabinet Office (Analysis and Insight)
Javier Ruiz, Open Rights Group
David Williamson, LB Tower Hamlets
Nick Jones, HMRC

Apologies from:

Paul Arnold, Cabinet Office
Simon Burton, Cabinet Office
Emma Carr, Big Brother Watch
Sam Smith, Independent Consultant


Item 1 – Introduction

  1. The session opened with a welcome and an overview of the context of the current Open Policy Making (OPM) process for this workstrand.

Item 2 – Ground Rules

  1. The ground rules agreed at the last session were circulated. Particular attention was drawn to the adoption of Chatham House Rules.

Item 3 – Presentations from Present Government Department and Agencies

  1. Following on from the actions point agreed at the last meeting, present government departments and agencies were invited to give a short summary presentation on their own current information sharing powers and any difficulties encountered in using them.
  1. Representatives of HMRC and DWP spoke to the group in turn setting out broadly what information sharing powers they had available and what limitations were encountered in using them.

Item 4 – Group Discussions

  1. Participants divided into three smaller groups to discuss: 

5.1.  Why the current arrangements are not working?

5.2.  To what extent this is a data sharing problem?; and

5.3.  Where are the barriers to effective sharing?

  1. Following these discussions, the group reconvened to share thoughts. In the course of discussion the view was expressed that it was not clear from the evidence that current arrangements were not working properly and that there was a real demonstrable need for a more general permissive data sharing power. it was suggested that other factors such as risk-averse working cultures – may be significant.
  1. In order for the group to move its deliberations forward, it was felt that this aspect needed to be addressed in more detail. Requests were made to see more of the underlying evidence and case studies driving the policy.

Item 5 – Actions/next steps


1 Evidence (1) – The estimated extent


Request for CO to bring more detailed evidence of the problem to the group.


30 May 2014


Cabinet Office Fraud Error and Debt team

2 Evidence (2) – Where would data sharing help?


Request from CO to provide more work on what the projected impact on FED would be of increased data sharing. What realistically is the ‘size of the prize’?   Case studies would be particularly helpful.



30 May 2014


Government departments represented and Local authorities

3 Future meeting dates


CO to release dates of new meetings well in advance to allow participants to coordinate diaries



Cabinet Office


  1. It was felt that the proposed date of the next meeting was not suitable as May 22 is polling day for EP and LA elections, and therefore some invitees will be unavailable. Therefore a new date, time and venue will be announced by CO.
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Tim Hughes

About Tim Hughes

Tim is Involve's incoming director, taking over from 21st January 2017. Tim has led campaigns and advocacy on open government; advised national, devolved and local governments, civil society organisations and multilateral institutions; and researched and written on topics including public participation, open government, democratic reform, civil society advocacy and public administration.

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