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Fraud Investigation Team

Shan made this Official Information request to Ministry of Social Development

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From: Shan

Dear Ministry of Social Development,

Is there an unusually long wait for benefit fraud reports to be investigated and resolved? I made a report in November 2021 and have sent in multiple updates since then but it seems no action has been taken as they are STILL receiving the benefit

I understand there is a lot of work that goes into investigation of any sort but I have given an insane amount of evidence that would’ve helped tremendously and have even offered my to assist in the investigation process for free yet nothing has been done despite my reports being able to save MSD at least $40,000 a year

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From: Info (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development

Tēnā koe Shan,


Thank you for your query.


In 2020 many benefit fraud cases were paused to focus resources on wage
subsidy investigations, except where benefit fraud investigations and
prosecutions were at critical stages. However, the Ministry of Social
Development (the Ministry) continued to follow up benefit fraud
allegations through non-investigative responses, early intervention and
facilitation, as resources allowed.


Since early 2021, the Ministry has been transitioning staff back to
benefit investigations as wage subsidy integrity work and investigations
are concluded. This includes reassessing those benefit investigations that
were paused so that they can be progressed.


With each new wage subsidy, however, the Ministry had to temporarily shift
resources to support pre-payment wage subsidy integrity checks and reviews
to help ensure these payments were made quickly and to those that were


As standard practice, the Ministry continually reassesses and
reprioritises work to ensure that our investigative resources are
allocated to the highest priority cases. The Ministry continues to recruit
additional Investigator resources to support ongoing demands due to
COVID-19. Additional Investigators have been recruited, with further
recruitment underway.


Although we appreciate your bringing a case of possible benefit fraud to
our attention, please note that we are unable to share the findings of a
benefit investigation with you. The Ministry takes the right to privacy of
its clients seriously.


Ngā manaakitanga,



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